SEU Spring 2019 Commencement

On Friday, April 26, Southeastern University will host our spring commencement ceremony at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland at 6:30 p.m. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, serving Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, will be the commencement speaker.

A total of 812 students qualified to march, with 623 participating in the ceremony. Participating in the ceremony are 14 doctoral candidates, 129 master’s candidates, 463 bachelor’s candidates, and 17 associate degree candidates. Students who are graduating are from Florida and 40 other states, as well as from 12 countries, including Austria, Brazil, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Nigeria, and more. More than 200 of the graduates in this class come from 54 of Southeastern’s extension site locations. This commencement brings the total number of Southeastern University graduates to 16,234.

Hartzler began her public service in 1994 when she successfully ran for State Representative in the Missouri General Assembly, where she served for six years. She was elected to Congress in 2010 and serves on the House Armed Services and Agriculture Committees. She is serving her second term as Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and is the Chairwoman of the House Values Action Team.

The student commencement speaker is Tori Scheffler, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med. During her time at Southeastern, she served the community through volunteering with the Brave Mom’s Program at the Florida Baptist Children’s Home and volunteered with the Special Olympics as an assistant softball coach. She currently volunteers with the Watson Clinic Arts in Medicine Program where she helps provide a creative outlet for patients receiving cancer treatment. Scheffler’s dream is to work as a physician for Samaritan’s Purse. In the fall, she will be attending Liberty College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lynchburg, Va., to specialize in pediatric oncology.

The recipient of the President’s Award will be the former mayor of Lakeland, Howard Wiggs, for his lifelong commitment to service. Wiggs was elected to the Lakeland City Commission in 1993 and served 21 years as commissioner and a four-year term as mayor.  When he retired from public service in 2018, Wiggs was Lakeland’s longest-serving elected official.

Dr. Aimee Franklin, assistant professor of biology, will be awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award. As a professor at Southeastern, she has overseen the work of multiple students as they have performed biomedical studies related to Fragile X Syndrome, the most common form of inherited autism. Due to her efforts, Southeastern has the highest number of students entering medical, dental or pharmacy school in the history of its science program.  

The ceremony is a ticketed event. It will be streamed live at SEU.edu/graduation.