Spring commencement ceremonies to be held May 1-2

A Nobel laureate, a four-star Marine general and a prominent bank executive will deliver the addresses at Florida State University’s three spring commencement ceremonies.

The graduates will hear from Sir Harold W. “Harry” Kroto, Florida State’s Francis Eppes Professor of Chemistry and co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command; and Bill Smith, president and CEO of Capital City Bank Group.

FSU President John Thrasher will preside over each ceremony at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, 505 W. Pensacola St. More than 6,200 students will graduate. About 4,700 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral candidates will participate in the ceremonies. The university will give special recognition to veterans and students who have received academic honors, including induction into the Garnet and Gold Scholar Society.

• Kroto will speak during the 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1 , ceremony to graduates of the colleges of Arts and Sciences; Human Sciences; Medicine (doctoral degrees only) and Motion Picture Arts.

Kroto received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his co-discovery of Buckminsterfullerene, a form of pure carbon better known as “buckyballs.” He joined Florida State’s faculty in 2004 and is the university’s sixth Nobel laureate, though the only one at present. An ardent advocate for science education, Kroto promotes careers in science to youth. In addition, he is the driving force behind FSU’s GEOSET (Global Educational Outreach for Science, Engineering and Technology), which uses the Internet as a platform to educate children and youth through a series of educational videos made by scholars, scientists and college students. In 2001, Kroto won the Royal Society’s prestigious Michael Faraday Award, given to scientists who advance public communication of science, engineering or technology in the United Kingdom.

• Kelly will speak at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 2 , to graduates of the colleges of Applied Studies; Communication and Information; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Engineering; Fine Arts; The Graduate School (materials science graduates only); and Social Sciences and Public Policy.

Kelly is the commander of U.S. Southern Command, which is responsible for all Department of Defense security cooperation in the 31 nations and 15 areas of special sovereignty in Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea. During his 41 years of service, Kelly has had numerous responsibilities at home and abroad. His most recent assignments include senior military assistant to the secretary of defense from March 2011 to October 2012; commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North from October 2009 to March 2011; and commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), which deployed to Iraq in early 2008 for a yearlong mission replacing II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) as Multinational Force-West in Al Anbar and western Ninewa provinces. He originally enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970.

• Smith will speak at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 2 , to graduates of the colleges of Business, Education, Music, Nursing and Social Work.

Smith is chairman, president and CEO of Tallahassee-based Capital City Bank Group. A prominent business leader, Smith serves on the boards of the Southern Company, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the City of Tallahassee Utility Commission. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Florida State in 1976 and has a distinguished record of service to his alma mater. He served as a member of the FSU Foundation board from 1999 to 2010, including service as chairman in 2006-2007. He served as one of four co-chairs of the university’s previous capital campaign, “FSU Connect,” which raised $617 million. In addition, Smith has served as chairman of the FSU Alumni Association board and is a member of the association’s Circle of Gold. He also served on the board of Seminole Boosters in 1989-1990 and 2006-2007. In 2009, he was inducted into the FSU College of Business’s Hall of Fame.

Other Florida State University commencement ceremonies:

•A military honor cord presentation ceremony will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at the President’s House, 1030 W. Tennessee St. President John Thrasher will preside over the casual, invitation-only ceremony where graduating student-veterans and ROTC cadets will receive their red-white-and-blue military honor cords to be worn during spring commencement ceremonies. In addition, the graduates will receive special commemorative coins with the seals of the five military branches on one side and the Seminole logo on the reverse.

•The College of Social Work will hold a convocation ceremony from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 1, in the Oglesby Union Ballrooms. Diana M. DiNitto of the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work will deliver an address. FSU Bachelor of Social Work graduate Lindsay Greene also will address the graduates.

•The College of Nursing will hold a convocation ceremony at6 p.m. Friday, May 1, at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, Westcott Building. Baptist Health Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Diane S. Raines will be the speaker at the event in which84 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, 2 candidates for master’s degrees and 20 for Doctor of Nursing Practice degreeswill be recognized.

•Army ROTC will commission 24 cadets — 16 for active duty and eight for the Army National Guard — during a ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in the Oglesby Union. The guest speaker will be Army Maj. Gen. Jonathan Maddux.

•The College of Law will hold its spring commencement at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 3, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga will be the featured commencement speaker. The ceremony will be followed by a reception on the law school green.

•The Panama City campus will hold its commencement ceremony at 1:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday, May 3, at the Panama City Marina Civic Center.

•The College of Medicine will hold its commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall for students receiving the Doctor of Medicine and the Master of Science Bridge to Clinical Medicine degrees.