As the Summer semester comes to a close, the university has decided on a speaker to see off the graduates — and he’s very close to home.
The university announced Monday the speaker at this semester’s commencement will be UF Department of Journalism chair Ted Spiker. Spiker will not be paid for the event.
UF Summer commencement will be held Aug. 9 and 10 with about 1,300 students expected to graduate, said UF spokesperson Steve Orlando.
The ceremonies will be held at the O’Connell Center.
Spiker said he has never spoken at a commencement ceremony before and was honored when UF approached him to speak at the event.
He will speak at both ceremonies, the doctoral ceremony Friday at 4 p.m. and the bachelor’s, master’s and specialist’s ceremony on Saturday at 10 a.m. Spiker said he wrote a different speech for each ceremony.
“My goal is to pass along a few lessons and hopefully a few laughs too,” Spiker said. “Commencement is such an important and fun day, and I just want to try to capture a little bit of both of those things.”
After four years at UF, Aleksi Turkki’s college journey is coming to an end.
The 22-year-old will finish up the last of his coursework on Friday and will graduate with a bachelor’s in marketing on Saturday.
Turkki’s family will be driving up from West Palm Beach to watch him graduate; however, Turkki said he hadn’t heard who the commencement speaker is yet.
As he prepares to part, he said the thing he’ll miss most about UF is meeting new people at all the events around campus.
“I love that spirit of being involved in such an awesome community,” he said.