Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University Announces Speakers for Spring Commencement

eagleheadGeorgia Southern University has selected Georgia Sen. Tommie Williams and Major General Jim Butterworth, Adjutant General, Georgia National Guard as speakers for its commencement ceremonies on May 11 and May 12.

Sen. Williams will address the Graduate Commencement which will be held on Friday, May 11 at 1 p.m. in Georgia Southern’s Hanner Fieldhouse. Major General Butterworth will address the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12 beginning at 9 a.m. at Paulson Stadium.

“Georgia Southern University is privileged to have these two influential leaders in our state address our graduates,” said University President Brooks Keel, Ph.D. “Their message of leadership and service to others will inspire and challenge our graduates as they leave Georgia Southern and begin the next phase of their lives.”

Williams is Georgia’s Senate Pro Tempore who represents Appling, Jeff Davis, Long, Montgomery, Toombs, Wayne and Wheeler counties, as well as portions of Liberty and Tattnall counties. Williams earned his master’s of education at Georgia Southern. In addition to being a public school teacher, Williams has also worked as a farmer and is currently a tree farmer in Toombs County. He has served as a missionary in China, Belize and Israel with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. In 2007, Williams was named to Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians list.

As Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard, Butterworth oversees more than 14,000 personnel in the Georgia Department of Defense, which includes the state’s Army National Guard, Air National Guard and State Defense Force. In addition to military service that includes time in Georgia’s own 116th Bomb Wing as a B-1B aircraft commander and flight lead, Butterworth has also worked as a Delta pilot. Butterworth recently completed service as a member of the Georgia State Senate, where he served as chairman of the Higher Education Committee and vice chairman of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.

For more information about Georgia Southern’s spring commencement ceremonies, please visit


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