May 16 TAMPA - Ryan Hart, a graduate of Tampa Catholic High School C/O 2012, received special ROTC and academic honors during the 2016 Saint Leo University commencement on April 30. Hart earned the Bachelor of Arts in global studies summa cum laude and earlier in April was awarded the School of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Academic Leadership Award for contributions to the global studies program. He led a team that participated in the 2016 Model Arab League, founded the student Global Studies Club, and became a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society. Hart also served as a student leader Army ROTC program at Saint Leo, and received the Thomas B. Southard Leadership Award Sabre. This award is given only in years when a graduating Saint Leo cadet displays outstanding leadership qualities in academic and military endeavors. Cadet Hart’s accomplishments, in addition to high grades, included competing as a member of the Suncoast Battalion Ranger Challenge Team, and attaining a 300-point perfect score on the Army’s physical fitness test during the 2014-2015 year. Hart’s academic advisor, Dr. Patricia Campion, explained Hart’s exceptionalism: “People follow his lead not because he intimidates them, but because his enthusiasm and energy are contagious and inspiring.” Hart will join the Florida National Guard later in the year, and plans to focus on crisis management in anticipated graduate studies and his military career. When Hart received the special sabre from Saint Leo University Trustee Virginia M. Judge, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who was the guest speaker for the event, was watching happily from just a few feet away on the commencement stage (see photo). The special sabre is named for the late Dr. Thomas B. Southard, who served as Saint Leo College’s fifth president from 1971 to 1985.