B-CU Hosts The Honorable Tony HillB-CU is pleased to welcome The Honorable Anthony C. "Tony" Hill as its 2012 commencement speaker. Hill will address graduating students and receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Law.
"It is our great honor to welcome The Honorable Tony Hill to our campus," notes B-CU President Trudie Kibbe Reed, who will be presiding over her final B-CU commencement before she enters retirement on May 13. "Sen. Hill has been a tremendous supporter of the institution for many years and we consider him a great friend. With his incredible political and professional background, he has a wealth of experience that will certainly inspire our students on such an important day in their lives."
This year's commencement marks the end of a remarkably successful academic year for B-CU. Construction is nearly complete on the new Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center, the School of Graduate and Professional Studies launched in the fall a new master's degree program in integrated environmental science, the School of Education earned continued accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the 2012 edition of the US News & World Report "America's Best Colleges" named Bethune-Cookman University one of the "Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Southern Region" and one of the "Top Historically Black Colleges & Universities Nationwide."
The Honorable Anthony C. "Tony" Hill
Tony Hill, born Sept. 9, 1957, is currently serving as Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown's Federal Policy Director. He is a former Senator in the Florida Senate, after first being elected in Nov. 2002, and subsequently re-elected to four-year terms in 2004 and 2008. His district encompassed portions of Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Putman and Volusia Counties. Sen. Hill was the first African American to represent Volusia County in the State Senate. He is the former Senate Democratic Whip.
Prior to being elected to the Florida Senate, Hill was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, District 14, in 1992 and subsequently re-elected, unopposed, for three consecutive terms. After leaving the Florida House in 2000, due to term limits, he continued his leadership activities: co- chaired the Florida Coalition to Reduce Class Size, resulting in Florida Constitutional Amendment 9, requiring smaller class sizes. After being elected to the Senate, he led the fight to make sure Amendment 9 was implemented.
He is a member of the board of directors of the 5 By 2015 Task Force Black Male Teacher Initiative. The task force is a five-year programmatic effort toward the recruitment, development, placement and support of 80,000 black male teachers within the next five years. He also sponsored a bill to create the first Civil Rights Hall of Fame - into which Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was an inaugural inductee - to exist in any state Capitol.
Hill, a native of Jacksonville and the middle child of Mrs. Cordelia & Mr. Ernest (deceased) Hill, Sr., is married to Patricia, the proud father of four children and has five grandchildren.
B-CU commencement ceremonies will be held at 10 am on Saturday, May 12 at the Ocean Center, 101 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, Fla. In order to avoid exceeding occupancy requirements set by the Center's Fire Safety Policy, each guest that enters the Ocean Center must have a ticket for a seat.
B-CU is making arrangements in order to accommodate all 2012 graduates and attendees. Each graduate will receive a maximum of 10 complimentary tickets. A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public on a first come, first served basis. The public may pick up two complimentary tickets per person on Tuesday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. at the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center. For more information, please contact the B-CU Box Office at (386) 481-2926 or visit www.cookman.edu.
NOTE: All members of the media who plan to attend commencement must contact Meredith Rodriguez at the B-CU Office of Public Relations (386-481-2991) or(603-496-2103) prior to the ceremony and will be required to wear University-issued media credentials, which will be available at the Ocean Center the day of the event.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers more than 40 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of more than 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.