Campus Life

Convocation boasts more than 400 people

By Lauren Haggett, University Communications

Students at the University of West Florida will face challenging moments in their college careers, but they have to keep pushing, according to Quint Studer in his fall convocation address on Thursday. More than 400 faculty, staff and students attended convocation in the Commons Auditorium.

Studer, CEO and founder of Studer Group and a nationally recognized speaker and published author, was the featured speaker at convocation. Studer, who is hearing impaired, spoke of how his life was molded by teachers and coaches that took the time to help him learn. His most memorable include a coach who told him to keep going even when he missed the ball at soccer practice. Another example was a grade school teacher who helped Studer learn to read by recognizing his passion for sports and reading the sports page of the newspaper with him every day.

“Research shows we work harder when we know someone cares about us,” said Studer. “Recognized behavior gets repeated.”

Studer kept the crowd laughing with his down-to-earth humor, yet provided powerful messages to take away. He conveyed that with hard work and motivation people can do more than what they think they are capable.

“You’re going to have a time in your life when you think you can’t make it,” said Studer. “But you can. As Dr. Bense says, you have to keep going.”

That’s just what UWF is doing, according to UWF President Judith Bense. The university is moving forward and growing, yet keeping in mind the foundation and niche that has been with UWF since the beginning. Special attention to the students and a focus on academics is not going to change. However, student life will improve even more within the years to come, she said.

Bense announced that UWF has achieved its goal of 12,000 students by 2012 an entire year early. As of Thursday, UWF has 12,176 students enrolled, up from 12,012 on opening day Monday.

“I took a slow drive around campus today,” said Bense. “We’re looking more and more like a traditional university, and I just love it! It’s a good time to be an Argonaut.”

Bense mentioned there are more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, and students are choosing UWF as their first choice. She closed with remarks about what is in store for the future of UWF.

“This semester, we will finish the Academic Visioning process, make strides on updating our campus master plan, put together a team to help align planning and budgeting, work toward university-wide assessments, continue construction on a new premiere College of Business facility and the 252-bed Presidents Hall, and begin developing the next version of our strategic plan,” said Bense. “Additionally, we will make strides in enhancing student life and above all else, we will provide a high quality education for our students.”

“When it comes to UWF, opportunity is available, education is available and success is available,” said Studer.

For more information about the future plans of UWF visit,