Pasco-Hernando State College is slated to host Winter Commencement ceremonies on Dec. 7-8 at its West Campus located at 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL. The ceremonies beginning at 10 a.m. are dedicated to honoring and recognizing students who earned certificates and diplomas in varying fields of study as well as those that earned an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

The event will host several keynote speakers including PHSC District Board of Trustees Chair John Mitten and Vice Chair Lee Maggard as well as Larry Tyree, Ph.D., executive director for the Association of Florida Colleges, and Jeff Holcomb, newly elected State Representative for District 53.

Commencement is a widely observed tradition among educational institutions and an important part of a student’s journey.

“Our commencement ceremonies formally recognize and celebrate the tenacity and goal-attainment of our graduates. Commencement is the symbolic springboard towards vast opportunities for personal, familial and community enrichment,” said Stanley Giannet, Ph.D., PHSC executive vice president and chief academic officer/college provost.

Graduates Rebecca Ott and William Smith are scheduled to represent and addresses the student body during the ceremonies.

Ott has been a student at PHSC since 2015 and has served as a member and vice president of Student Government Association and a member of the Human Services Club. Upon obtaining her Associates in Arts degree in 2022 she attended the University of South Florida where she is pursuing her Bachelors in Humanities. Ott was recently awarded the Dr. Felisha R. Barker Outstanding Student Leader Award.

“My goal is to continue my career in the real estate industry while achieving my educational dreams of obtaining my master’s degree in humanities and traveling the world,” said Ott.

Smith completed the Associate in Science Nursing program at PHSC in 2019 and currently works at AdventHealth Wesley Chapel in the Oncology Unit. He plans to attend the University of South Florida Master of Science in Nursing Family Health Nurse Practitioner Program next Fall. Smith’s inspiration came from his mother Barbara a Family Nurse Practitioner who also inspired Smiths brother Michael a current PHSC ASN student.

The 2-day event allows for the ceremonies to be more intimate and was implemented to ease concerns of overcrowding given the post-COVID climate.

“The college continues to provide a balanced approach to learning—ranging from face-to-face classes, online or remote classes and hybrid modalities. However, given the status of the pandemic, a ceremony replete with in-person engagement with fellow graduates, family, and faculty provides the best, most memorable experience,” said Giannet.

As PHSC celebrates its 50th anniversary year this group of graduating students will become part of the more than 60,000 alumni who have received degrees and certificates from PHSC to date.

"As we celebrate the many accomplishments of our graduates during our 50th Anniversary year, PHSC's commencement ceremonies will also recognize the college's rich history. The countless opportunities PHSC provides today are grounded in five decades of phenomenal growth and development. In 50 years, PHSC has grown from "a college without walls" to six modern locations serving nearly 14,000 students annually. We are proud that these graduates will soon join our cherished alumni,” said Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D., PHSC president.

More information about PHSC’s Winter Commencement ceremonies can be found at