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Georgia Southern University announces Spring 2017 Commencement speakers

Ronny Just

Georgia Southern University has selected alumnus Ronny Just, governmental relations manager for Georgia Power, and the Honorable Casey Cagle, Lt. Governor of Georgia, as the speakers for the 2017 Spring Commencement ceremonies set for May 5 and 6.

Just will speak during the graduate commencement ceremony on Friday, May 5 at 1 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse, 590 Herty Drive. As the Governmental Relations Manager within Governmental and Regulatory Affairs for Georgia Power, he develops and implements statewide strategies for ensuring informed policymaking around energy and environmental matters. He also directs Georgia Power’s strategic research relationships with Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia.

In previous positions, Just served as the Environmental Issues and Air Quality Manager for Environmental Affairs, where he oversaw power plant compliance and helped improve working relationships with environmental advocacy groups. He also was the customer service manager for more than 14 business offices in northeast Georgia, serving more than 156,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers. He just celebrated 32 years of service with Georgia Power.

In the Atlanta community, Just is a board member for the Georgia Institute of Environmental Leadership, the Clean Air Campaign, and co-chairs the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Energy and Environment Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Georgia Southern, and his wife, Kim, is also a Georgia Southern alumna.

The Honorable Casey Cagle, Lt. Governor of Georgia

Cagle will address undergraduates as they receive their degrees on Saturday, May 6 at 9 a.m. at Allen E. Paulson Stadium, 207 Lanier Drive. Cagle, who attended Georgia Southern University, is a successful entrepreneur and respected former state senator. He made history in 2006 by becoming the first Republican ever elected to Georgia’s second highest office. He is currently in his third term as Georgia’s Lt. Governor.

Cagle has established himself as a bold leader and champion for education and economic development. His business experience and outlook propelled him to prominent leadership roles, allowing him to bring a common sense private sector approach to state government.

To empower students and invest in tomorrow’s economy, Cagle launched the Georgia College and Career Academy Network, a partnership between local community leaders, school systems and Georgia’s technical colleges. Georgia’s college and career academies provide a relevant and rigorous curriculum aimed at preparing students for a highly skilled, 21st-century economy upon graduation. Today, more than 20,000 students are enrolled in Georgia’s 40 College and Career Academies. Cagle has also been recognized for his work to champion Charter School Systems, the German American Apprenticeship Program, and Lt. Governor’s Healthy Kids Challenge – bringing resources together to make public schools more accountable and effective for students.

Cagle published his first book, “Education Unleashed,” to outline his vision for a public education system that will develop the strongest workforce in the world. In addition to celebrating achievements realized under his leadership, “Education Unleashed” charts a bold path forward for Georgia’s future.

Notwithstanding his many accomplishments in private and public life, Casey is most proud to be a husband, father and grandfather.

Watch both spring commencement ceremonies live and get more information by visiting

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 119 degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit


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