Campus & Community

Palm Beach State College to hold two commencement ceremonies Dec. 20

Palm Beach State College will award degrees and certificates to more than 1,600 graduates during two fall commencement ceremonies at the Palm Beach County Convention Center Dec. 20.

Florida Bar President Gary Lesser and State Rep. Kelly Skidmore

Attorney Gary Lesser, president of The Florida Bar and managing partner of West Palm Beach-based Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith PLLC, a third-generation personal injury law firm, will be the keynote speaker at the 10 a.m. ceremony for more than 900 graduates of the Associate in Arts degree program. State Rep. Kelly Skidmore, a PBSC alumna, will be the keynote speaker at the 2 p.m. ceremony for more than 700 graduates of the Associate in Science, Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science degree programs and the certificate programs. Both commencement ceremonies are open to guests with tickets. They also will be livestreamed on PBSC’s website.

Lesser’s dedication to The Florida Bar, which serves more than 110,000 members, is longstanding, with 24 years of service, including more than a decade on the Board of Governors, chairing the Legislation and Professional Ethics committees, and serving on the Strategic Planning, Disciplinary Review, Communications and Board Review on Professional Ethics committees.

Lesser often serves as a guest lecturer and media commentator on the topics of personal injury and professional ethics and has held leadership positions in numerous nonprofit and civic-oriented organizations, including the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County.

A West Palm Beach native, Lesser earned his bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law.

Skidmore, an Ohio native, first served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2006 to 2010 and was elected back into office in 2020. She serves on the Health and Human Services committee as well as the subcommittees for Professions and Public Health, Government Operations, Health Care Appropriations, and Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy.

Prior to her election in 2006, she worked as a legislative assistant in the Florida House and Senate for almost 10 years. It was during that time that she developed the passion for public service that inspired her to run for office. In addition to her service in the legislature, she has also successfully served in various roles from vice-president of advocacy and public policy for the Florida Chapter of Arthritis Foundation and public relations specialist for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida to her current role as chief executive officer of the Palm Beach County Medical Society.

For more information on PBSC’s graduation, visit

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