May 9, 2017

Saint Leo University’s Gainesville Education Center will confer about 125 degrees during its commencement ceremony at 3 p.m., Saturday, May 13, at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The arts center is on the campus of the University of Florida, 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Degrees to be awarded include master’s in accounting, business administration, education, criminal justice, and social work, as well as bachelors and associate degrees.

Gainesville Police Department Chief Tony Jones will give the commencement address. Bo Cherie D. Derequito, who is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education, will give the Class of 2017 farewell. An Li,  a member of the Class of 2016, will lead the students in the traditional turning of the tassels on their mortarboards and welcome them as new Saint Leo University alumni.

Guest speaker Jones is committed to the Gainesville community. Not only has he served the Gainesville Police Department since 1975, but he also is active in many local organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Black on Black Crime Task Force, Corporate Volunteer Council, the Partnership for Strong Families, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and the Boy Scouts of America North Florida Council. Jones became chief of the Gainesville Police Department in 2009.

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever our students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. We welcome people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation and encourage learners of all generations. We are committed to providing educational opportunities to our nation’s armed forces, our veterans, and their families. We are regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and we guide all our students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

We remain the faithful stewards of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where our founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving nearly 15,000 students, we have expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintain a physical presence in seven states. We provide highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 82,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

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