Polk State College to celebrate 129th Commencement in December

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College will celebrate its 129th class during its Commencement Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

For the Fall 2023 Commencement Ceremony, 1,304 graduates qualify to walk across the graduation stage. Of those:

  • 80% are Polk County residents, with graduates also residing in Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.
  • 299 will receive degrees from Polk State’s six baccalaureate degree programs.
    • 163 will receive the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management
    • 21 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Sciences
    • 63 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    • 29 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
    • 15 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
    • 8 will receive the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • 567 will receive the Associate in Arts degree, which is fully transferrable to any institution within the State University System.
  • 203 will receive an Associate in Science degree, which prepares students to transition directly into the workforce in fields including health sciences and engineering technology.
  • 235 will receive certificates, which provide a competitive edge in the workforce.
  • 38 will graduate Summa Cum Laude with grade-point averages (GPAs) of 3.9 or greater.
  • 56 will graduate Magna Cum Laude with GPAs between 3.75 and 3.89; and
  • 160 will graduate Cum Laude with GPAs between 3.5 and 3.74.
  • 14 will graduate with 4.0 GPAs.
  • The youngest graduate is 14 and the oldest graduate is 70.

Commencement will feature remarks by December 2023 Distinguished Alumnus Andy Ray, Chief of the Bartow Police Department.

Ray graduated with his Polk State Associate in Arts degree in 1985 and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Florida State University and a Master of Public Administration from Troy University. He served the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years before spending 10 years with the Auburndale Police Department, where he ultimately served as Chief of Police. In August 2023, Ray came out of retirement to assume his current role as Bartow Police Chief.

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