St. Petersburg College Celebrates SPC Day 2023 with NASA Astronaut and Alumna, Nicole Stott

This is a press release from St. Petersburg College. For more information, contact Rita Farlow, AVP, Marketing and Strategic Communications, at 727-302-6526 or Samantha Stanich, Communications/PR Coordinator, at 727-341-4195.


St. Petersburg College Celebrates SPC Day 2023 with

NASA Astronaut and Alumna, Nicole Stott

Event highlights the importance of real-world workforce
preparation for today’s college students


St. Petersburg, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2023) — St. Petersburg College (SPC) commemorated its rich history with SPC Day on Sept. 12, featuring a keynote address by Nicole Stott, a retired NASA astronaut and SPC alumna.


SPC Day marks the first day classes were held at the college on Sept. 12, 1927. Participants at the event held at the Clearwater Campus reflected on SPC’s great history while celebrating the achievements of its alumni, students, and employees.


The event included a proclamation by Clearwater Mayor Brian J. Aungst Sr., officially designating Sept. 12 as SPC Day in Clearwater. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with local businesses and organizations, plus meet with job recruiters and talk with SPC admissions counselors.


Stott shared her personal journey, blending her spaceflight experiences with the foundational education she received at SPC.


"My time at St. Petersburg College was more than just an education. It was a pivotal jumping point that launched my career,” said Stott. “The lessons I learned here laid the groundwork for my journey into space. SPC isn't just a college. It's a launchpad for dreams, propelling students to reach beyond the stars."


Stott participated in two spaceflights and the historic final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery and was also the first person to paint a watercolor in space. She advocates for the fusion of arts and sciences through her nonprofit, the Space for Art Foundation, which facilitates space-inspired art therapy programs for children.


SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams echoed Stott's sentiments about the value of education, emphasizing the college's commitment to delivering quality programs.


“Over the past two years, we've proudly witnessed 1,600 of our alumni transition into high-wage positions, underscoring our commitment to not just academic excellence, but to real-world workforce preparation,” said Dr. Williams. “A degree from SPC shouldn't just hang on the wall. It's a tool, a catalyst for practical employment and better lives."


Learn more about SPC’s 200+ programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees and short-term training opportunities, here.