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Press Release for Monday, April 25, 2016

UNF Honoring Students’ Exceptional Service at Spring Commencement

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida will honor students with outstanding records of volunteerism and caring spirits, when it hands out more than 1,630 degrees Friday, April 29, during spring commencement at the UNF Arena, Building 34, on campus.

UNF senior Kami Richmond, who will graduate from the Coggin College of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration, will be recognized as the recipient of the Senior Service Award, while junior Chelsey Cain, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies, will be recognized as the recipient of the Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award.

The UNF Alumni Association presents the Senior Service Award to a graduating senior for outstanding volunteer service to the University or community. The Caring Award recognizes students who demonstrate the spirit of caring, humanitarianism and volunteerism exemplified by Albert Ernest.

Richmond’s service to the University started as a freshman, when she began training to become a member of the Swoop Squad, volunteering to give campus tours and assist at orientations. By her sophomore year, she became a paid tour guide and expanded her responsibilities to include recruiting prospective students and assisting with training new Swoop Squad members.

Last spring, Richmond, a native of Lake Wales, Florida, began serving as a Coggin College Student Ambassador, playing an integral role in the execution of programs presented by the Career Management Center and Coggin College. She also assisted in raising awareness of the ambassador program in order to encourage her fellow business students to pursue professional development opportunities.

She was not only an active volunteer on campus but also in the Jacksonville community. Richmond dedicated her time volunteering with Global Community Outreach for the World Affairs Council, as a student consultant for the City Rescue Mission and as a Sunday school teacher at Christian Family Chapel. Her dedication to service expanded internationally while studying abroad in Beijing, China, in the summer of 2014. As a result, she became involved with Alenah’s Home, a nonprofit foster home for orphans with special needs.

Cain, a Jacksonville native, started “Theatre on a Mission,” a 501(c)3 non-profit organization comprised of performing arts students that want to make a difference in the world, while she was still in high school. The organization has taken three trips to work with orphanages and schools in Kenya as well as Costa Rica.

Cain believes theatre breaks cultural barriers and brings confidence, self-esteem and hope to children. Her fundraising efforts have brought running water to an orphanage, repaired a broken water well, supported medical care for orphans and provided a down payment on land to build a school.

The ceremony for the Brooks College of Health and the College of Education and Human Services will take place at 9 a.m., followed by a ceremony for the Coggin College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences (art, biology, chemistry, economics, English, fine arts, French studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, international studies, math, music, philosophy, physics, practical philosophy and applied ethics, religious studies, Spanish and statistics) at 12:30 p.m.

The final ceremony for the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction and COAS (anthropology, communication, criminal justice, political science, public administration, psychology, social work and sociology) will be held at 4 p.m.

The University expects to award a total of 1,579 bachelor’s degrees, 226 master’s degrees and 29 doctorates this term. Including the spring 2016 graduates, UNF has issued a total of 71,167 bachelor’s degrees, 18,074 master’s degrees and 439 doctorates since first opening its doors in 1972.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.