MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Charles and Ruth Clemente Center is the site of Florida Institute of Technology’s fall commencement ceremonies on Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. A highlight of the event will be commencement speaker Florida Senator, District 26, Mike Haridopolos. He became a member of the Florida Senate in March 2003, was re-elected in 2006 and became president of the Florida Senate in November, 2010.
“We are proud that this much-honored senator will speak at our commencement and know that he will be a great addition to the ceremonies,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese.
Haridopolos is a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus that led the fight against tax increases. Each year before the Florida Legislature convenes, he signs the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge to oppose the vote against efforts to increase taxes.
He serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Environment and Land Use and the Senate Committee on Reapportionment. In addition, he sits on such committees as Social Responsibility, Ways and Means, Communications, Energy and public utilities, Health and Human Services Appropriations, Judiciary, Transportation and the Select Committee on Florida’s Economy.
Haridopolos graduated from Stetson University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in history; he earned a master’s degree at the University of Arkansas in 1993. He currently is a lecturer at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida.
Three posthumous degrees will be awarded at commencement. Kristopher Heneger and Jordyn Agostini will both be awarded bachelor’s degrees in aviation management with a flight option. Dheni “Jenny” Frembling will be awarded a master’s degree in airport development and management. Family members will be at commencement to accept the diplomas. The three were killed in a recent aircraft tragedy.
At the ceremony, three bachelor’s degree graduates will receive the Faculty Honors Award for maintaining a 4.0 (perfect) grade point average. They are Ondrej Holy, earning dual degrees in international business and business administration; Christopher Parkes, earning a degree in information systems; and Hani Kably, who will receive an electrical engineering degree.
This December, about 1,000 students will be eligible to walk across the stage to receive their Florida Tech bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees; 300 of these completed their degree requirements at the end of last summer. Graduates include students earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees through the Melbourne campus; students who earned master’s degrees through the university’s Extended Studies Division; and students earning associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees through online programs. About 500 students are expected to participate in the ceremonies.