Georgia Southern University Holds First Graduate Commencement
Nearly 500 students received doctoral, specialist’s and master’s degrees today during Georgia Southern University’s first ever Graduate Commencement ceremony held in historic Hanner Fieldhouse.
Prior to this year, one spring commencement ceremony was held for all graduate and undergraduate degree programs. But, the increasing popularity and enrollment at Georgia Southern made it necessary to hold a second ceremony to accommodate the increasingly large number of students and their families.
Georgia Southern alumnus and Georgia Chamber of Commerce President Chris Clark was the speaker for today’s ceremony. He spoke about the importance of everyday heroes and challenged graduates to thank the heroes in their lives and to strive to be heroes themselves. “You will get the opportunity to make a difference,” Clark said. “I hope that you will take that opportunity to be a hero in someone’s life.”
Among the graduates were a number of students who received an online degree from Georgia Southern University. Christa Willis of Tampa, Fla., earned her MBA online and came to the ceremonies today to receive her degree. It was the first time she has ever been to the Georgia Southern campus. “Being here today was about more than receiving the degree. It was about the experience. To be able to step on the campus where I am receiving the degree from is a monumental event and it really helps the achievement feel real.”
Commencement celebrations at Georgia Southern continue tomorrow when 2,200 undergraduate students will receive their degrees. Georgia Southern University alumnus and Chick-fil-A Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy will be the speaker. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in the University’s Paulson Stadium.