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Approximately 1,600 degrees conferred during Georgia Southern’s annual Fall Commencement

Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of nearly 1,600 graduates at Georgia Southern University as graduate and undergraduate students were recognized during the Fall 2017 Commencement ceremony today.

Adrian Peterson (’01) addresses graduates during the 2017 Fall Commencement ceremony.

Held in Hanner Fieldhouse, graduates from the University’s eight colleges received their degrees in three different ceremonies before family and friends. Georgia Southern alumnus and 2017 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Adrian Peterson (‘01) spoke to graduates in the 2 p.m. ceremony.

“As we walk across this stage, take everything that you learned here, take it,” Peterson said. “You may not need it tomorrow, and you may not need it next week. But somewhere down the line, you’re going to need it. More importantly if you don’t need it, you’re going to come across somebody in your life who will need it. We are Georgia Southern, so aim and strive for the best.”

He also encouraged graduates to dream big, set goals, and leave a positive impact on those around them, especially younger generations.

“Go back to your communities, and help the young kids, because those are the ones who need it the most,” he said. “Some of those will not be fortunate enough to have a mom, a dad, an uncle an aunt, a grandparent or older brother who will motivate and inspire them to set goals to dream big — so share the wealth.”

Georgia Southern’s President Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D., congratulated the graduates for their accomplishments and hard work.

“Congratulations, fall graduates,” said Hebert. “Today is your day, and I am so proud of you. Enjoy this moment with family and friends, and know that you make the Eagle Nation very proud.”

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118 degree programs serving 20,418 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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