Campus & Community

PBSC returns to traditional commencement ceremonies

Graduates celebrate at a Fall 2019 commencement ceremony, which was the last time PBSC held traditional commencement ceremonies before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Palm Beach State College will hold two commencement ceremonies at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center May 12 to celebrate its more than 2,000 expected spring graduates.

The first ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. for graduates of the Associate in Science, Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science degree programs and the certificate programs. A second ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. for Associate in Arts degree graduates. State Sens. Tina Polsky, who represents District 29, and Gayle Harrell, who represents District 25, will be the keynote speakers at the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively.

Sen. Tina Polsky

This marks the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that Palm Beach State has held traditional commencement ceremonies. The last time was fall 2019. The College celebrated its spring 2020 graduates with a dedicated website, and then it began holding Grad Walk in fall 2020 to give graduates an opportunity to celebrate in person.

“Commencement is a significant and meaningful moment for our students and their families and friends. We are happy that they will get the full graduation experience with the traditional pomp and circumstance celebration,’’ said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D.

Sen. Gayle Harrell

“We’re excited to be returning to a traditional ceremony,’’ added Dr. Stephen Joyner, associate vice president of enrollment management and retention, whose office plans the ceremonies. “We look forward to seeing all of our graduates in their regalia and walking across the stage with their classmates, as well as their families and friends in the audience.”

Polsky, whose district encompasses parts of Palm Beach and Broward counties, and includes the cities of Boca Raton, Wellington, Highland Beach, Belle Glade, South Bay, Parkland, Coconut Creek, and Coral Springs, was elected to the Florida Senate in 2020. Prior to then, she served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2018 to 2020, representing District 81.

Harrell, whose district includes Martin and St. Lucie counties and part of Palm Beach County, was elected to the Florida Senate in November 2018 after serving two terms in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000-2008 and 2010-2018.

For graduation details, visit

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