Tony Simmons

Jhonattan Ramirez will receive his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering on Sunday, May 5, during the Florida State University Panama City Spring Commencement ceremony.

But though he’s finished with classes, Ramirez isn’t done with FSU PC.

On Thursday, May 2, he met Dean Randy Hanna in the courtyard between the Holley Academic Center and the Barron Building to place a legacy brick with his name on it in the walkway. The brick will be a lasting reminder of his time at FSU Panama City and his training as a civil engineer.

Civil Engineering graduate Jhonattan Ramirez and his grandparents

“I’m the first one in my family to graduate in the United States,” said Ramirez, whose family is originally from Colombia. “What makes it sweet is knowing where I came from and how far I’ve come along, thanks to my family and FSU Panama City and the community they have created.”

Standing under the shade of a live oak, Ramirez and Hanna were joined for the brick placement by Ramirez’s grandparents, Isabel Hurtado and Dumar Ramirez, who traveled from Colombia to witness and celebrate his graduation. He said he was proud to graduate with the support of “my family, my grandma, my brother, my church, my community.”

The brick was especially meaningful for Ramirez because of his major. Civil engineers have a primary role in creating the “built environment” while also protecting the natural environment. 

Dean Randy Hanna, left, joined new Civil Engineering graduate Jhonattan Ramirez and his grandparents to lay a Legacy Brick.

They plan, design, construct and operate buildings, highways, airports, pipelines, bridges, dams and levees, irrigation works, water supply systems, wastewater treatment systems, and various other components of the built environment. They also work to minimize environmental and social impacts, and to improve the quality of life.

Ramirez is currently employed by a land development firm in Santa Rosa County. He plans to continue working with them and begin focusing on construction. He said his position started as an internship connection through FSU PC.

“The Civil Engineering program at FSU PC provided me with quality education and valuable connections, not only with my classmates and faculty, but also with local industry leaders,” Ramirez said. “The passionate professors, amazing staff, and supportive community inspire growth along every step of the way.”

Each 4-by-8-inch Legacy Brick costs $200 and is placed in the Legacy Courtyard between the Holley Academic Center and Barron Building. The purchase constitutes a donation to the FSU Foundation and is 100-percent tax deductible. Purchasers also receive a miniature keepsake brick. For questions or more information, call 850-770-2168, email, or visit