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Record Number of Graduates to Receive Degrees at Georgia Southern University’s Spring Commencement

05-08 Georgia Southern University Celebrates Largest-Ever GraduationGeorgia Southern University will honor its largest-ever graduating class at Spring Commencement on May 8 at 9 a.m. at Paulson Stadium. Approximately 2,900 graduates are receiving their degrees this spring, including more than 2,400 who will participate in the formal ceremony.

New Georgia Southern President Brooks Keel will not only confer the graduates’ degrees, but will also serve as the guest speaker. ‘I am looking forward to my first graduation ceremony at Georgia Southern,” said Keel, who took office in January. ‘With a record number of graduates, it will be a memorable day for many in the Eagle Nation.”

An addition this year to Spring Commencement will be recognition of the University’s newly-commissioned ROTC cadets. Georgia Southern’s ROTC battalion has been chosen as one of only eight in the country to receive the MacArthur Award, the U.S. Army’s top honor for ROTC battalions that exemplify the leadership qualities personified by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

‘We are thankful to Dr. Keel for this initiative to showcase our cadets, some of the finest in the nation, on this very special day,” said Lt. Col. George Fredrick, commander of Georgia Southern’s ROTC battalion.

Along with the ‘traditional” graduates, this year’s class reflects a national trend that more students are choosing to earn their degrees online. Georgia Southern will recognize 153 fully and 63 partially online graduates, the most ever for the University.

A highlight from last year’s ceremony will return this year as Freedom, the bald eagle that flies at Georgia Southern home football games, will make his second flight at graduation.

If you’re going

Graduates’ families and friends are encouraged to get to Paulson Stadium early. Given the large number of graduates, the University is expecting around 25,000 people for commencement. The gates will open at 7 a.m. and the processional will begin at 8:40. Once the available seats and concourse areas are full, the grass seating area at the scoreboard end of the field will be opened to manage any overflow.

The University suggests parking in one of the designated parking areas on-campus and utilizing the campus shuttle services to get the stadium. Shuttle service will start at 7:30 a.m. and will continue until one hour after the ceremony ends. Carpooling is encouraged.

Web cast available

Again this year, Georgia Southern University will present the Spring Commencement ceremony as a live web cast. Anyone with RealPlayer installed on their computer and access to the Internet can view the web cast from the Georgia Southern web site (www.georgiasouthern.edu) by following the Commencement link. Spring Commencement information for graduates and spectators is available at: www.georgiasouthern.edu/commencement.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers 115 degree programs serving 19,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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