DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Madeline M. Pumariega, the chancellor of the Florida College System (FCS), will address a class of more than 3,200 graduates during Daytona State College's 57th commencement ceremonies at the Ocean Center.
This year's commencement is taking place in two parts: Ceremonies for associate of science (AS), certificate and adult education students took place at 2 p.m. The graduation or associate of arts (AA) and baccalaureate degree started at 6:30 p.m.
Pumariega presides over the 28 colleges that make up the FCS, which serves nearly 1 million students annually and is rated among the nation's best. Appointed as the first female and Hispanic chancellor in August 2015, she is herself a product of the FCS, having earned her AA degree from Miami Dade College.
She is the past president of Miami Dade's Wolfson Campus, where she earned acclaim for nurturing community partnerships and for her work in developing innovative approaches to ensure that thousands can access and complete college. Pumariega is a member of the Florida Prepaid College Board, Higher Education Coordinating Council, Florida Council of 100, the Center for Postsecondary Success at Florida State University, City Year Miami and an advisory board member of the Florida College Access Network. She was a Kellogg Fellow for the League for Innovation's Expanding Leadership Diversity in Community and a graduate of Leadership Florida Class 33.
Chancellor Pumariega holds a bachelor's in political science from St. Thomas University, a master of education from Florida Atlantic University and is a doctoral candidate at Barry University.
The Class of 2017 features over 1,400 AA graduates, including 177 expected to complete their AAs this summer. Many will continue their studies in a DSC baccalaureate degree program or smoothly transition as juniors to the University of Central Florida through DSC's Direct Connect to UCF partnership, or other universities.
Nearly 1,400 students will have earned their AS or certificate credentials, including candidates for summer 2017 graduation. DSC's commencement exercises include 455 bachelor's degree recipients, including those expected to complete their degree this summer. Among them are 282 graduates of Daytona State's Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management degree, which the college began offering over a decade ago, and 74 graduates of the college's Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which DSC launched in 2014.
This year, 1,370 students across programs are graduating with honors, including 429 with high honors, and 64 have been inducted into the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, based on their leadership skills, scholarship and community service. An additional 24 graduates were inducted this year into Sigma Beta Delta, the highest international recognition a business student can receive at a college or university. Sixty-three Associate Degree Nursing graduates this year were inducted into the Alpha Delta Nu national honor society, and eight students were inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi international honor society for education graduates.
Forty-seven Falcons this spring were named to Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges, and 15 students were inducted into the Daytona State College Hall of Fame, the highest honor that faculty can bestow upon a student. More than 200 veterans earned their academic credentials this year, including those who completed their programs at the end of fall semester. Over 150 graduates are earning their AA, AS or program certificate days before they receive their high school diploma, through Daytona State's popular dual enrollment program, which provides opportunity for high school students to earn college credits free of charge and get a head start on their college education. And over 462 students will have earned their adult high school diploma or GED as part of the Class of 2017.
This commencement marks over 100,000 degrees and certificates awarded by the college since its founding in 1957 as Florida's first comprehensive community college.