Iconic landmarks around the Tampa Bay area will light up green and gold this weekend to honor the nearly 7,500 University of South Florida students graduating with their degrees.
The college will host a first-ever virtual ceremony on May 9, while in-person commencements will be in August.
For the first time in its history, #USF will hold virtual commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9.
Nearly 7,500 degrees will be conferred, including:
🎓 43 students who hold a perfect 4.0 GPA
🎓 272 student veterans
🎓 graduates from 50 states & more than 100 nations pic.twitter.com/YJzlae8wPm
— University of South Florida (@USouthFlorida) April 30, 2020
According to a press release from USF St. Pete, the landmarks will light up for the graduates from May 9-10.
“Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the University of South Florida has worked diligently to maintain a strong sense of community and ensure our graduates can celebrate their accomplishments,” USF President Steven Currall said. “Decorating many of Tampa Bay’s most recognizable landmarks is a terrific way for our region to share its support of our graduates.”
The landmarks include:
- The Sunshine Skyway bridge
- The downtown Tampa SunTrust Financial Centre
- Old City Hall
- The trees in Curtis Hixon Park
- Bridges along the Riverwalk
- USF Health’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS)
- Tropicana Field
- The USF Water Tower
The idea to light up the Skyway came from Jadzia Duarte, the Student Government Association president on USF’s St. Petersburg campus, according to the release.
It says Duarte contacted St. Petersburg City Council Vice-Chair Gina Driscoll, who then helped coordinate the tribute with the Florida Department of Transportation.
“I’m so proud of this year’s graduates, and I’m excited to salute them by lighting the Sunshine Skyway in green and gold in their honor,” Driscoll said. “I wish the graduates all the best as they cross the bridge of education and go on to successful careers.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning will also recognize the graduates on May 9, with messages on all of the digital signs inside Amalie Arena. The team also plans to post well wish on social media using the hashtag #USFgrad, the press release says.
Also, in downtown Tampa, the Glazer Children’s Museum will project a message of congratulations on the side of its building Saturday evening.
The city of St. Petersburg will also donate space on six digital billboards.
According to the release, they will display the message, “We’re with you in spirit! Congratulations to the Class of 2020,” until Sunday.