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Thursday, April 21, 2022 — Polk State College will host its 126th commencement with two ceremonies on Thursday, May 5, at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, where members of the Spring 2022 Graduating Class will celebrate with their families, friends, and supporters.

“Our College is incredibly proud of the Spring 2022 Graduating Class,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “With 70% of Polk State’s graduates remaining in Polk County to work and continue their education, we not only celebrate the achievements of our students, but also their future success and impact on our community as they soar to new heights with their Polk State degrees and certifications.”

Graduates have been notified of their assigned ceremonies via their my.polk.edu emails. Ceremonies will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Graduates will receive additional email communication from the RP Funding Center about redeeming their six allotted tickets. Graduates should note that tickets are not needed for themselves or attendees 2 years old or younger.

Graduates and guests are asked to stay home if sick or experiencing COVID-like symptoms. While local transmission rates are currently low, attendees are still strongly encouraged to mask and practice social distancing. Attendees should also be prepared for enhanced safety and security measures including metal detectors and bag checks, and should review the RP Funding Center’s list of prohibited items: www.rpfundingcenter.com/group-services/prohibited-items.

Individuals who cannot attend in person can watch live streams of the ceremonies onwww.polk.edu/academics/graduation.

Polk State’s Spring 2022 Graduating Class is comprised of 1,083 students. Of those:

  • 86% are Polk County residents, with graduates also residing in Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.
  • 225 will receive degrees from Polk State’s six baccalaureate degree programs.
    • 117 will receive the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management
    • 15 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Sciences
    • 44 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    • 30 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
    • 15 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
    • 4 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • 652 will receive the Associate in Arts degree, which is fully transferrable to any institution within the State University System.
  • 143 will receive the Associate in Science or the Associate in Applied Science, which prepare students to transition directly into the workforce in fields including health sciences and engineering technology.
  • 63 will receive certificates, which give them a competitive edge in the workforce.
  • 63 will graduate Summa Cum Laude with grade-point averages (GPAs) of 3.9 or greater.
  • 67 will graduate Magna Cum Laude with GPAs between 3.75 and 3.89; and
  • 176 will graduate Cum Laude with GPAs between 3.5 and 3.74.
  • 32 will graduate with 4.0 GPAs.
  • 15 will graduate with Honors Program Distinction.
  • The youngest graduate is 16 and the oldest is 66.

The ceremonies will feature remarks from President Falconetti, Spring 2022 Distinguished Alumnus Marc Macaulay, and Senator Kelli Stargel.

Macaulay, a 1977 graduate of Polk State, will be honored during the morning ceremony. He is a graduate of Auburndale High School, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University, and studied at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre. His acting career has spanned more than 25 years and 125 titles, with notable parts in “Monster,” “Premonition,” “Passenger 57,” “Dolphin 12,” “Miami Vice,” and “Burn Notice.”

Senator Stargel will be recognized during the evening ceremony. Stargel is a sixth-generation Floridian who was elected to the Florida Senate in November 2012 after serving four years in the Florida House of Representatives. A longtime supporter of Polk State, Stargel was instrumental in the 2022 Legislative Session as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee in securing critical funding for the College.

More information about graduation is available at www.polk.edu/academics/graduation. Graduates are also encouraged to monitor their my.polk.edu emails.

About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 14,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as 9,000 individuals in a wide range of certificate and workforce training programs. The College also operates three charter high schools.

Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.

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