Guy Harvey Named Honorary Chancellor

Mar 19, 2018

by Cary McMullen
Publications editor

Acclaimed as an internationally respected wildlife artist, conservationist, and entrepreneur, Dr. Guy Harvey was named Florida Southern’s 84th Honorary Chancellor at the college’s annual Founders Day Convocation on March 16.

The convocation, in which the College marked its founding 135 years ago, also included the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award to three accomplished alumni, Guy D. Collado ’67, Susan Ezell Roberts ’66, and R. Howard Wiggs ’86.

In a proclamation investing Dr. Harvey with the honor, President Anne Kerr said, “His stewardship of invaluable research initiatives offers hope for achieving a naturally boundless ocean ecosystem for future generations.” The College also bestowed on him the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Dr. Harvey, who is famous for his colorful and exciting scenes of ocean creatures in their natural habitat, earned a Ph.D. in fisheries biology from the University of West Indies, where he also served on the faculty. He began his legendary career as an artist and businessman after showing some of his works at the 1986 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. He uses the proceeds from his licensed artwork and merchandise to fund important research and conservation efforts, including the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and the Guy Harvey Research Institute. His foundation has funded hundreds of scientific and educational programs throughout the world.

In his convocation address, Dr. Harvey noted that his English family first arrived on Jamaica in 1664, and he recounted his “open-air childhood” on the island, fishing and exploring in the ocean. He also outlined the work that he and his foundation do in presenting the results of ocean research to the public through documentaries.

Dr. Harvey admonished the students to be grateful for their opportunity to learn.

“I’m always indebted to my parents for spending the money they did on my education. It’s my only inheritance. So work hard. Make yourselves and your parents proud,” he said.

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award was presented to FSC graduates who have made outstanding contributions in their professions and communities. Guy Colado (pictured, left) of Winter Park is chairman and CEO of Commerce National Bankshares of Florida, Inc., and a banking executive for more than 30 years. Susan Ezell Roberts (center) of Belleaire is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Capital Formation Counselors, Inc., a firm that provides strategic planning services to family-owned businesses across the nation. Howard Wiggs (right) of Lakeland is co-owner with his wife Linda Bagley Wiggs of Bagley Wiggs CoLab, and he served as a Lakeland city commissioner for 21 years as well as a four-year term as mayor of the City of Lakeland.

Also at the convocation, Leyna Stemle was named the 2018 Honor Walk recipient, FSC’s highest student award. Stemle is a President’s Scholar and Honors Student; a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society; Rho Rho Rho marine biology honor society; and serves as president of the FSC chapter of Beta Beta Beta biology honor society.

The Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award was presented to Dr. Patrick Smith, associate professor of psychology.