Flagler College held its spring commencement ceremony April 22 and handed out more than 320 diplomas to graduating seniors. A separate ceremony for six students graduating from Flagler’s Public Administration program was held later in the day in the Flagler Room.
The commencement address was given by Joel Conner, President of Michelina’s. The frozen food company has approximately 90 different products and is part of a grouping of five companies, started by world renowned entrepreneur Jeno F. Paulucci, that produce frozen entrees, hand-held snacks, pizza and food service products for worldwide markets with cash flow over $100 million a year.
Conner was asked to speak at Flagler College because of his connection with Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), a nationally recognized organization dedicated to spreading free enterprise principles through a variety of community-related projects.
Flagler’s SIFE team recently won their regional competition, sweeping all six judging categories and is headed to the national championship in May. The team previously won the national title in 2004 and came in second in the world in 2005. Last year, they placed fourth at nationals.
In a little over two years, the public administration program has grown to an enrollment of more than 90 students and graduating two classes. The first class graduated in December, with 20 students receiving diplomas.
While Flagler offers 24 bachelor of arts degrees, the public administration degree is the only bachelor of science degree at Flagler. An evening program, it is specifically designed for working professionals who have attained an associate’s degree or 60 hours of college level course work.