Campus & Community

Florida College System chancellor to speak at commencement

Madeline Pumariega
Chancellor Madeline Pumariega

Madeline Pumariega, chancellor of the Florida College System, will be the keynote speaker at two commencement ceremonies Dec. 18 for Palm Beach State College’s more than 2,600 fall graduates.

The first ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center for the 1,219 graduates of the Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science, Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs along with the certificate programs. The second ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. for the 1,388 graduates completing the Associate in Arts transfer degree. Both ceremonies will be streamed live at

This will be the first commencement for PBSC’s new president Ava L. Parker, J.D., who took the helm in July.

Pumariega, who started her own higher education at a community college, became chancellor in August, leading a system that serves more than 800,000 students at 28 colleges throughout the state. She began her new role after serving since 2013 as president of Take Stock in Children, a statewide nonprofit organization that aims to help at-risk youth break the cycle of poverty by completing college. She previously spent 20 years in key roles at Miami Dade College, most recently as president of its Wolfson Campus.

Pumariega serves on the board of City Year Miami and on a steering committee for The Miami Foundation. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and Leadership Florida Class XXXIII. She also was a Kellogg Fellow for the League for Innovation’s Expanding Leadership Diversity in Community Colleges, which focuses on leadership development and capacity building for communities.

She earned a Master of Education degree from Florida Atlantic University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and secondary education from St. Thomas University and an Associate in Arts degree from Miami Dade College.

For more commencement information, visit

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