Sen. Paula Dockery, South Florida Poly's 'Best Friend,' to Deliver Graduation Speech
It couldn't be more fitting.
Florida Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, will deliver the commencement address for South Florida Polytechnic’s graduating class Monday evening at the Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theatre.
USFP Chancellor David Touchton said, “We are pleased Senator Dockery has agreed to deliver the commencement message about doing what’s right and always maintaining integrity, as the students enter the work force.”
Since 1988, the University of South Florida has operated a campus in Lakeland, giving thousands of students the opportunity to earn degrees from a respected, accredited university. The graduating class of 2012 will earn bachelor's and graduate degrees in an array of academics, including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as liberal arts studies.
But because of recent legislation, the 2012 class will be the last graduating class to earn degrees from the campus before the transition. The college will be replaced by a new independent university, Florida Polytechnic.
Dockery fought hard for the students and faculty of the current USF Polytechnic, and for the best interest of the campus, students and community in the long haul. She is considered by many the school's best friend.
“I’m disappointed my community will be losing the USF presence we have enjoyed for more than 20 years, but I am honored to speak to the graduating class of 2012,” Sen. Dockery said in a prepared statement. “The past nine months have awarded me the opportunity to get to know several of the USFP students. I was thoroughly impressed by their hard work and dedication to academics, all while balancing the pressures associated with keeping their school intact. Clearly, this graduating class of seniors will serve our community well through their strong educational background, as well as their commitment to community involvement and volunteerism.”