Campus & Community

PBSC President Dennis Gallon to confer his final diplomas May 11

Palm Beach State College will hold two commencement ceremonies May 11 for the 2,838 students in the last graduating class under President Dennis Gallon’s 18-year tenure.

The first ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. for the 1,562 Associate in Arts transfer degree graduates, which represents 55 percent of the class. The second ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. for the 1,276 graduates of the Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science, Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs and the certificate programs. Both ceremonies will be held in the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach and streamed live on the web at

With the spring graduates, Palm Beach State will have awarded a total of nearly 123,000 degrees and certificates since it was established in 1933, and more than 60 percent of them (75,044) have been since Gallon became the fourth president in 1997. That is largely because under his leadership the College oversaw the transition of 45 career programs from the School District of Palm Beach County to PBSC, and the College has added bachelor’s and associate degree programs through the years to meet growing workforce needs. Gallon is retiring June 30.

Tia Barnett and Patricia Medina will be the commencement student speakers.

Patricia Medina, who is the 2014-2015 student trustee and an A.A. degree candidate, will speak at the morning ceremony. She recently learned that she is one of two PBSC students to win the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship that provides up to $40,000 a year for the two to three years needed to complete her bachelor’s degree. Only 90 students nationwide were selected by the Virginia-based foundation from more than 2,000 applicants. Medina, 41, a married mother of twins, serves as editor of the Beachcomber student newspaper and of “Sabiduría,” the Honors College academic, peer-reviewed online journal. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society and a volunteer on the Human Trafficking Awareness Committee on the Lake Worth campus. Earlier this year, she was named to the All-Florida Academic Team. She plans to get a bachelor’s degree with majors in mass communications and political science. Her goal is to become a White House press secretary and eventually return to PBSC to teach.

Tia Barnett, a candidate for the Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management, will speak at the afternoon ceremony. A married mother with three teenage boys and a teenage stepson, Barnett juggled a full-time job at the South Florida Water Management District with school and family needs to complete her degree. She earned an A.A. degree at Palm Beach State in 2012 and continued her education.

For commencement details and information for graduates, visit


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