FSC to Honor Philanthropic Leader at Winter Commencement


LAKELAND (Dec. 13, 2018) Dr. Sherry Magill, recently retired president of the Jacksonville-based Jessie Ball duPont Fund, will be honored by Florida Southern with the degree of doctor of humane letters during the College’s winter commencement for undergraduate students on December 15.

Dr. Magill led one of the nation’s foremost charitable and educational funds for 25 years and is a highly regarded leader in the national philanthropic community. She is a founding member and past chair of the Florida Philanthropic Network and past chair of the board of directors of the national Council on Foundations. Previously, Dr. Magill had served as an instructor, vice president and deputy to the president of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

Dr. Magill is known for building grants, developing a broader geographic representation, and for bringing professional expertise and diversity to the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The private grantmaking foundation supports more than 300 grantees, large and small, from around the nation.

Florida Southern College will hold two separate winter commencements on December 15, with the undergraduate ceremony to be held at 10:30 a.m. and a ceremony for the graduate programs at 2:30 p.m. Both programs will be held in the Branscomb Auditorium.

U.S. Army Lt. General Donald L. Kerrick (Ret.), a 1971 FSC graduate and former trustee, will be the speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. He served in the White House as Deputy National Security Advisor to President Bill Clinton and was a principal negotiator on the U.S. peace delegation that negotiated an agreement ending the Bosnian War. Walter Manley II, a 1969 FSC graduate and attorney, professor, and author, will be the speaker for the graduate ceremony.

During the morning ceremony, the College will confer the President’s Scholar medal upon one of its graduating seniors. The medal honors a graduate whose academic standing is in the top 1 percent, who exemplifies the values of the College, and who has a demonstrated commitment to scholarship, student leadership and service.

At winter commencement, the College will confer 145 undergraduate degrees and 82 graduate degrees. Of the graduate degrees, one will be a doctoral degree.

A number of our 2018 winter graduates forged unique learning opportunities through FSC, including Ashleigh Stinson of Lakeland. During her month-long trip to Spain as a participant in the Junior Journey student program, which provides foreign and domestic travel learning experiences, Ashleigh received an unexpected job offer. In preparing for her return to Spain the following semester to work in the small town of Alicante, Ashleigh arranged for three separate internships through the College to be directed by her professor, Dr. Jose M. Garcia. Not only was she able to earn college credit for the internship; her immersion in the culture dramatically improved Ashleigh’s language skills. “Dr. Garcia knew of my interest in speech pathology,” Ashleigh said. “One internship involved observing and helping with occupational therapy for children, and the others were at a hospital and a preschool.”

About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private comprehensive college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a Top Baccalaureate College by Washington Monthly; and included in The Princeton Review’s 384 Best Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, and Forbes magazine’s America’s Top Colleges Guide. The College is committed to the development of the whole student through vibrant student life programs that prepare graduates to make a positive, consequential impact on society.  FSC is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of both Orlando and Tampa. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Named the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review and one of the nation’s “Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture” by Architectural Digest, Florida Southern is an internationally-recognized place of beauty and academic excellence.


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