USF presents John Ramil with honorary doctorate in Engineering

John Ramil, second from left, accepts his honorary doctorate from USF.

John Ramil, third from left, accepts his honorary doctorate from USF.

You could say TECO Energy President and CEO John Ramil took the bull by the horns when he used his education at the University of South Florida – which ended the first time around in 1978 – to climb the ranks of one of his hometown’s largest corporations. On May 7, the home of the Bulls trumpeted Ramil’s 40-year legacy of success at TECO and in the community by awarding him an honorary doctorate in Engineering.

“Earning my Bachelor of Science and then my Master of Science in Engineering at USF gave me the tools I needed to start and advance my career at TECO Energy,” Ramil said as he accepted his doctorate at the USF Sun Dome on May 7. “But that doesn’t mean I stopped learning upon graduation. I had the good fortune throughout my career to have been guided and coached into a mode of lifelong learning … it helped me move through assignments not only in engineering, but such areas as planning, operations, finance and customer service.”

That approach to continuous learning has been a cornerstone of Ramil’s leadership at TECO. The company works closely with USF, Hillsborough Community College and St. Leo University to enable company team members to earn advanced degrees. It welcomes the opportunity to teach the next generation by opening its doors to young students and through environmental education. TECO also has a growing portfolio of solar arrays it has installed at schools – teaching tools that can also provide emergency power to the schools in the event they must serve as community emergency shelters. And the company supports education in still more ways.

True to form, Ramil made sure to keep the spotlight of his achievement focused on his company’s success, saying that among the things he was most proud of in his career was the opportunity “To lead some very talented people at TECO in developing and implementing strategies.

“The result improved TECO Energy’s environmental profile in a very financially and economically responsible way,” he added. “Last year, for the first time ever, we generated the majority of our electricity with natural gas. And we’re adding solar to our mix. We have greatly reduced our emissions, including carbon dioxide; over the last 15 years … all while increasing the amount of electricity we generate to meet growing customer needs.”

And as he accepted his latest degree alongside hundreds of other USF Bulls, he made it clear that graduation – though it may seem like the end of a journey to some – was merely the next pause along the road in a lifetime of learning.

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