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Nike executive, state educational leader, Georgia Power CEO, World Trade Savannah director and leading physician among speakers for Georgia Southern University’s Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremonies

SAVANNAH, Ga., April 22, 2024
 — Georgia Southern University has named five acclaimed speakers for the University’s Spring 2024 Commencement ceremonies on May 7, 8, 9 and 11.

Approximately 4,200 students will graduate with associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees this semester during five ceremonies in Statesboro and Savannah. Candidates will have the option to choose the location where they would like to graduate. 

The dates, colleges and speakers for each ceremony are: 

Tuesday, May 7 – 10 a.m. — Allen E. Paulson Stadium in Statesboro

College of Arts and Humanities, College of Science and Mathematics, Waters College of Health Professions and Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Mackenzie Anderson is the global director of Corporate Communications at Nike in Beaverton, Oregon. Since joining in 2019, Anderson has driven storytelling efforts for Nike’s executives and purpose initiatives across sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, and social and community impact. She is also a member of the Women of Nike Leadership team.

Prior to joining Nike, Anderson held a variety of roles leading global sustainability and strategic communications at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer. Previously, she led business communications and media relations for the Atlanta Braves.

A proud graduate of Georgia Southern University, earning a bachelor’s in communications with an emphasis in public relations, Anderson started her career as a spokesperson for the world’s largest aquarium, Georgia Aquarium. In this role, she won two Emmy® awards for a television series on ocean conservation.

She has been named to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 and served on the board of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Emerging Leaders.

Wednesday, May 8 – 10 a.m. — Allen E. Paulson Stadium in Statesboro

Parker College of Business and College of Education

Alton M. Standifer, Ph.D., serves as Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Chief of Staff to the Provost at the University of Georgia (UGA). In this capacity, Standifer leads the Office of Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness and the Office of Institutional Diversity, and has overall responsibility for the operations in the Office of the Provost. 

In this role, Standifer leads a focused effort to develop and implement strategies and initiatives designed to advance academic excellence goals and create an environment at the institution where faculty, staff and students feel that they can learn, grow and thrive. He supports UGA’s particular focus on rural, economically disadvantaged, first-generation, underserved, military and transfer students. Standifer is also responsible for matters related to the University’s institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 

Prior to joining UGA, Standifer taught middle school math and coached basketball in his hometown of Monticello, Georgia.

Standifer earned a doctorate in public administration and policy from UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs, where he now also serves as an adjunct faculty member. He received a bachelor’s in middle grades education and a master’s in higher education administration from Georgia Southern.

A member of the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 and the Georgia Southern University 40 Under 40 Class of 2023, Standifer was selected by the University System of Georgia to participate in its 2022-2023 Executive Leadership Institute. In addition, he is a member of the 2022 class of Leadership Georgia and currently serves as program chair for the Class of 2024. He is also a 2020 graduate of LEAD Athens and served as president of the Georgia Southern University Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2020 to 2022. 

Thursday, May 9 – 10 a.m. — Allen E. Paulson Stadium in Statesboro

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing

Kim Greene is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Georgia Power, and is a strong voice in the energy sector, especially on issues related to safety, emerging technologies, innovation and STEM-related education. She is a respected thought leader and advocate for the future of energy – from national energy policy to the overall customer experience.

Prior to her current position, Greene served for five years as chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company Gas. 

Throughout her career, she has taken on diverse and challenging roles across all areas of the utility industry including engineering, operations, finance, external affairs and asset management and trading. She has also held executive roles for Southern Company’s subsidiaries as well as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), including chief executive officer for Georgia Power and Southern Company Gas; chief operating officer for Southern Company; president of Southern Company Services; chief generation officer for TVA; group president for TVA’s Strategy and External Relations; and chief financial officer for TVA.

Greene currently serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta Committee for Progress, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, Valero Energy Corporation, the Georgia Research Alliance and the Rowen Foundation. She serves on the board of trustees for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and The Woodruff Arts Center, and on the Board of Governors for the Georgia Historical Society. Greene is also a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club.

Most recently, the Atlanta Business Chronicle named Greene as one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs. In 2022, she was awarded the Edison Electric Institute’s inaugural Thomas F. Farrell, II Safety Leadership and Innovation Award by her industry peers for her significant contributions to improving safety in the utility industry. She is a member of the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame, a recipient of the University of Tennessee’s Distinguished Alumna Award and the University of Tennessee’s Nathan W. Dougherty Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the College of Engineering.

A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Greene earned a bachelor’s in engineering science and mechanics from the University of Tennessee, a master’s in biomedical engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a master’s in business administration from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Greene also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Saturday, May 11 – 10 a.m. — Enmarket Arena in Savannah

College of Arts and Humanities, College of Education, College of Science and Mathematics, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Parker College of Business, Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing

Chris Ahearn is the director of research and trade development for the World Trade Center Savannah, where he facilitates and oversees all aspects of partner-specific research, international lead development, and planning and receiving of inbound and outbound delegations. He also manages the Savannah side of TradeBridge, a partnership between World Trade Center Savannah, the Savannah Economic Development Authority and the county of Wexford, Ireland.

Ahearn graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in Irish Studies. He then attended Dublin City University in Ireland where he earned a master’s in international relations. Following that, Ahearn spent 12 years working in higher education and nonprofit organizations in Chicago, Illinois. In 2022, Chris returned to Georgia to begin the position with World Trade Center Savannah.

Saturday, May 11 – 3 p.m. — Enmarket Arena in Savannah

Waters College of Health Professions and Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Candicee Childs, M.D., is an emerging beacon of inspiration in the fields of medicine and literature. At present, she is a resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, with a focus on child and adolescent psychiatry. 

Her literary work, including the Amazon bestseller Christian memoir, “Lemons, Lemonade, and the Lemonade Stand,” reflects her passion for living life with purpose and making a positive impact on those around her. 

Dr. Childs is also a public speaker, model, fitness enthusiast and mentor. Most recently, she presented at TEDxSavannah in 2023 where she discussed embracing empathy while also protecting your mental wellness. 

From Savannah, Childs earned a bachelor’s in chemistry with a minor in Spanish from Valdosta State University, a Master of Health Administration from Georgia Southern University and a Doctor of Medicine from Augusta University – Medical College of Georgia. She also has two certifications in nutrition and personal training from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers approximately 155 different degree programs serving more than 26,100 students through 10 colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia with expert faculty, the University is focused on public impact research and engaging learning opportunities through knowledge and know-how that prepare our students to take ownership of their lives, careers and communities. Visit

Last updated: 4/22/2024

Georgia Southern Clay Target Team clinches national titles in San Antonio

Georgia Southern University Clay Target Team

The Georgia Southern Clay Target Team soared to victory at the 2024 ACUI/SCTP Collegiate Clay Target Championship by earning the Division II Classic All-American (CAA) and the All-Division American Skeet champion titles in a historic first for the University. 

The student-athletes competed at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas, during the weeklong tournament that drew nearly 1,200 shooters and 106 college teams representing 34 states. 

“To say that I am proud of this team would truly be an understatement,” said Head Coach and alumnus Marty Fischer (‘74). “This team has accomplished more in just over three years of existence than perhaps any sports team in the history of Georgia Southern. Eagle Nation can be very proud of how they have competed nationwide at the highest level of the sport and how they have professionally represented this University.”

The team shot a record 497/500 to win the All-Division American Skeet national title. The top shooters for the Eagles were Tate Skipper, Andrew Cohen, Dawson Peek, Jackson Schaaf and Brayden Floyd.

Seniors Skipper and Cohen shot 100/100 scores in American Skeet and were joined by 17 other shooters with perfect scores. Skipper went on to win a head-to-head shoot off earning him first place in High Overall Skeet.

Not only was Skipper excited about his win, but he also reflected on the success of the team over the years.

“Throughout the four years at Georgia Southern, we’ve won three national championships, only coming up short last year by just seven targets to finish second,” he said. “It was just great to finish on a really high note and walk off technically being the best in the country at skeet. It was a good feeling.”

Cohen, a senior, shot 99/100 in skeet, 98/100 in trap and 94/100 in sporting clays for a 291/300 total that earned him the High Overall Champion for the CAA event. 

Sophomore Cheyenne Anderson posted a 282/300 total score and claimed second place High Overall Lady in the CAA Division II. She also placed third in sporting clays with a 93/100 score.

Freshman Blake Reed shot a 100/100 in American Trap and finished third overall for High Overall in the CAA Division II. This was the first 100-straight American Trap finish for a Georgia Southern shooter in the Collegiate Clay Target Championship. 

Junior Landon DeLoach shot 96/100 to earn second place in Sporting Clays. 

This is the third ACUI high overall Collegiate Clay Target National Championship that the Eagles have won. They were the Division IV National Champions in 2021 and the Division III National Champion in 2022. Divisions are based on the number of shooters a team enters rather than the size of the school. 

Skipper is reflective of the camaraderie among the group and his time at Georgia Southern.

“We’ve been shooting with this group of guys this whole time,” said Skipper. “We’ve always been very competitive at a high level, and I’ve enjoyed that. Georgia Southern was definitely the right fit for me to be able to go and shoot at a very high level and be with some of my closest friends who are in the shooting world.”

Graduating seniors Andrew Weiche, Skipper, Cohen and Neal Sellers were all four-year athletes that will leave Georgia Southern as some of the most decorated student-athletes ever at Georgia Southern, Fischer added.

“As phenomenal as it is for the Georgia Southern Clay Target Team to win its third National Championship in four years, the All-Division American Skeet National Champion is truly a crowning achievement,” said Fischer. 
Georgia Southern’s Clay Target Team is a club sport, which is administered by Campus Recreation and Intramurals. Each club sports team is organized and led by students. Most club sports are highly competitive at the state, regional and national levels.

Last updated: 4/10/2024

Georgia Southern senior DeAndre Coles named Mr. Georgia Southern 2024

The winners of the Mr. Georgia Southern Competition in their respective categories.

Georgia Southern University has a new Mr. Georgia Southern, and his name is DeAndré Coles.

No stranger to wearing a crown, Cole was named a Georgia Southern Homecoming Duke in 2022.

Coles is a senior economics and marketing double major. As the Xi Tau chapter president for the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Coles also serves as executive secretary of the Men of Vision and Excellence, and is a member of the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. In addition, he has served as a Fraternity and Sorority Life Ambassador. 

Following an internship with customer service giant Sykes Enterprise, Coles became an outbound operations – area manager for an Amazon fulfillment center. These experiences helped him gain the knowledge and skill set needed to succeed in a career in Corporate America. 

Zykeem Garnder was named the first runner-up. Other winners and individual categories include:

  • Best Talent: Zykeem Gardner (as seen in winner’s picture on left)
  • Best Formal Wear: DeAndré Coles (as seen in winner’s picture in middle)
  • Best Lifestyle & Fitness: Jaylin Wood (as seen in winner’s picture on right)
  • Best Spirit Wear: DeAndré Coles
  • Mr. Photogenic: Zykeem Gardner

The 2024 Mister Georgia Southern University Competition was supported by the University Store and Awards South in Statesboro.

Georgia Southern University has a new Mr. Georgia Southern, and his name is DeAndré Coles. No stranger to wearing a crown, Cole was named a Georgia Southern Homecoming Duke in 2022.
All of the contestants for Mr. Georgia Southern.

Last updated: 4/10/2024

‘Silent Sky’ showcases the true story of an overlooked 20th-century female astronomer whose groundbreaking work changed the way we see the universe 

Freshman theatre major Sarah Whitney is Henrietta Leavitt, an overlooked astronomer who works at the Harvard College Observatory in the early 1900s, in “Silent Sky.” 

Beginning on April 11, the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Masquers will present their first main stage show this year with a three-day run of “Silent Sky.” 

Written by playwright Lauren Gunderson, the semi-fictionalized story follows astronomy research assistant Henrietta Leavitt, who works at the Harvard College Observatory in the early 1900s, where she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. In her free time, Henrietta attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, while also measuring her life on Earth as she tries to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. 

“‘Silent Sky’ is a beautiful, rich story that shines a light on often-overlooked contributions by women in history, especially in the field of science,” said “Silent Sky” director and theatre professor Courtney Grile, Ph.D. “It also invites us to reflect on the vastness of the universe, our understanding of it and our beliefs about what is beyond.” 

Freshman theatre major Sarah Whitney, who takes on the role of Henrietta, appreciates the topical themes of the play.

“One thing I truly admire about ‘Silent Sky’ is how it showcases the timelessness of female friendship and the marvels that are possible when women are encouraged to explore their passions and curiosities,” she noted.

What: “Silent Sky”
Where: Jenkins Hall Theatre on Georgia Southern’s Armstrong Campus in Savannah
When: April 11-12 at 7:30 p.m. and April 13 at 3:00 p.m.
Price: $12 for general admission (discounts for military, seniors and children are available)
*Free admission for Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff

Tickets can be purchased by calling 912-344-2801, visiting the Fine Arts Box Office website or by visiting the Fine Arts Box Office, located in Fine Arts Hall, weekdays between noon and 3:00 p.m.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers approximately 155 different degree programs serving more than 26,100 students through 10 colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia with expert faculty, the University is focused on public impact research and engaging learning opportunities through knowledge and know-how that prepare our students to take ownership of their lives, careers and communities. Visit

Last updated: 4/9/2024

Grant Gearhart presented with leadership award from Foreign Language Association of Georgia

(l-r) Foreign Language Association of Georgia President Meredith White, Georgia Southern Associate Professor of Spanish Grant Gearhart and Georgia Southern Professor Emeritus of German Horst Kurz

Grant Gearhart, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish, was recently presented with the Foreign Language Association of Georgia’s Post-Secondary Leadership Award at the 2024 Southern Conference on Language Teaching, held in Atlanta, Georgia.

“This award means a lot to me because leadership is collaboration,” said Gearhart. “There are too many collaborators to thank, but I am grateful for their support and initiative.”

“If you are a language teacher,” he continued, “press on and know that your work is important. If you are a parent, support language teachers and learning because it is a unique field that equips students with tremendous cognitive, communicative and professional benefits. It’s about much more than word-to-word translation or apps.”

Gearhart is also the coordinator of Georgia Southern’s experiential learning for the Department of World Languages and Cultures, and host of the “World Languages Collaborative Podcast,” which shares innovative ideas, strategies and best practices from experts in the field of language education. The podcast is an extension of the World Languages Collaborative, an annual event sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education, the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System and the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Gearhart’s scholarship focuses on medieval and early modern culture, and he specializes in chivalry, sport, warfare and masculinity. Additionally, he presents and publishes on various topics related to language pedagogy. His work has appeared in journals such as La corónica, Romance Notes, Letras Hispanas, The Journal of Popular Culture, The Language Educator and Hispanic Journal. He teaches courses related to language pedagogy, Spanish for the Professions and courses about medieval and renaissance Spain.

Last updated: 4/9/2024

RiteCare Center, communication disorders students receive financial awards from Scottish Rite Masons

Madison Morgan (L) and Jessica Grim

Georgia Southern University’s RiteCare Center for Communication Disorders recently received a boost from the Scottish Rite Masons when the organization made an $11,500 donation to the center. The group also awarded two scholarships to graduate students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDS) program. 

Madison Morgan and Jessica Grim each received a $1,000 scholarship based on their outstanding academic and clinical abilities to put toward their tuition expenses.

“Receiving this scholarship meant so much to me,” Morgan said. “The Scottish Rite Masons do so much for the Rite Care Center, so to receive a scholarship from them was such an honor. It also showed me that my hard work has paid off and it encouraged me to keep working hard throughout this program.”

Morgan, who is from Brooklet, Georgia, received her undergraduate degree in special education from Georgia Southern while Tybee Island resident Grim earned an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders. 

Grim was also grateful to be selected as a scholarship recipient. 

“Receiving this scholarship from the Scottish Rite meant the world to me,” she said. “I was incredibly grateful to be nominated for the scholarship by our clinical coordinator at the RiteCare Center (RCC). I am genuinely thankful to the RCC and the Scottish Rite Savannah chapter for what they do for our campus clinic and the ability to get hands-on experience immediately during my first semester of graduate school.”

The RiteCare Center for Communication Disorders at Georgia Southern is the primary RiteCare facility in the Savannah area and is supported by an annual contribution from the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Savannah Valley in keeping with the national philanthropic program of the Scottish Rite Masons to support speech and hearing clinics. 

The support of the Scottish Rite allows the Center to offer speech therapy services to the Savannah community. Additionally, services offered by the RiteCare Center for Communication Disorders are provided by graduate students in the CSDS program who are supervised by experienced licensed and certified speech-language pathologists.

Last updated: 4/8/2024

Georgia Southern University’s work for military-connected students continues to earn Military Friendly® Gold School designation for 2024-25

For 12 years in a row, Georgia Southern University has been designated a Military Friendly® school by VIQTORY Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs, STEM Jobs and Military Spouse magazines. This year, Georgia Southern also garnered a Military Spouse Friendly Schools Gold-level designation in the large public school category. 

“Veterans, service members and military-connected students make up nearly 14% of the University’s student population,” said Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero. “To be designated a Military Friendly school for 12 years is a remarkable accomplishment for Georgia Southern. It underscores the supportive campus environment and academic offerings we have created for military-affiliated students in developing sustainable and meaningful education paths for the military community.”

To aid military-connected students, Georgia Southern offers a range of support services, from fee waivers to scholarship opportunities and convenient Military Resource Centers on each of the University’s campuses, to help navigate the first semester at all three of the University’s campuses and online learning centers. 

Georgia Southern now offers military-connected students the chance to earn a graduate degree without having to leave base, including the Master of Business Administration, tailored to fit the specific needs of the military community. The programs offered at the education centers on Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart include courses that can be completed in as few as eight weeks.

“By offering courses directly at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield’s Education Center, we enhance accessibility to graduate degree programs and certificates, enabling veterans, active members, and military-connected students to realize their full potential,” said Alejandra Sosa Pieroni, Ed.D., executive vice president for Enrollment, Marketing and Student Success at Georgia Southern.

VIQTORY rates schools on academic policies, graduation and career outcomes, military student support and retention, and financial aid and loan repayment. The Military Friendly ratings are determined through the evaluation of public data and proprietary data gathered through the annual Military Friendly survey process. The data-driven Military Friendly survey is available at no cost to thousands of institutions nationwide who participated in the 2024-2025 survey. 

Georgia Southern is part of a network of institutions that allows transferability of credits for military students, provides in-state tuition for members of the military and their families, and offers college credit for prior education, military training and experience. The University has a strong and proud history of supporting veterans, current-serving military personnel and their families, and has accumulated many awards for its dedication to the military community. Information and resources are available on the Military and Veteran Services webpage.

For more information on Georgia Southern’s on-post presence, visit here.

Last updated: 4/3/2024

Georgia Southern recognizes exemplary donors at 2024 Gratitude Gala

(l-r) Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero, Darron Burnett, Kim Powell, DeNorah Huggins, Walt Huggins, Dr. Dennard L. Scoggins, Wanda B. Scoggins, Stephanie Sanders, Robbie Sanders, Maria Sanders and Georgia Southern Vice President of University Advancement Trip Addison

Georgia Southern University hosted its annual Gratitude Gala to recognize key donors for their longtime support of institutional initiatives. The event was held on March 29 at the JW Marriott Plant Riverside in Savannah where honorees were presented with awards.

“The Gratitude Gala is a chance for us to celebrate you,” Trip Addison, vice president for University Advancement, said to the group. “The people in this room represent Georgia Southern’s most loyal alumni, friends, faculty, staff, corporations and foundations — those who have given $25,000 or more to the University, equipping our mission of helping students reach their academic and career goals.

“Each one of you has gone above and beyond in your support of the University, and for each student who is chasing an incredible dream, your support is helping them to take hold of it,” Addison continued. “Because of supporters like you, more than $4 million in scholarships were awarded this year. Over the past few years, we have also experienced record years of charitable support, proving that our alumni and friends believe in what Georgia Southern is doing and the impact it will have on our campuses, communities and state. Together, we soar.” 

The 2024 recipients are:

The Legacy Award: Dr. Dennard L. And Wanda B. Scoggins

Alumni and long-time supporters Dennard (‘65) and Wanda (‘64, ‘75) Scoggins have a unique story in which they first dated as students at Georgia Southern, married other people, and following the death of their spouses, reconnected and married more than 50 years later. They decided to turn Dennard’s planned legacy gift to Georgia Southern into something that they both could enjoy now and made a $1 million donation to the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation, Inc. Pending a Board of Regents approval, the plaza between the Anthony P. Tippins Family Training Facility and the gates of Allen E. Paulson Stadium will bear the names of their deceased spouses.

The University honored Dennard and Wanda with the 2024 Legacy Award for their tremendous investment in the University.

The President’s Ambassador Award: Walt and DeNorah Huggins

Walt Huggins (‘80), and his wife, DeNorah, have been loyal supporters and ambassadors of Georgia Southern for almost 40 years. 

Walt, a partner of Quadrant Real Estate Advisors, has served on the Georgia Southern Foundation board, the Athletic Foundation Board, Housing Foundation Board and the Campaign Steering Committee. In addition, Walt and DeNorah were two of the first supporters of the University’s Honors College and football initiative, Transition 20.

The University honored Walt and DeNorah with the 2024 President’s Ambassador Award for their dedication to Georgia Southern, giving of their time, their talent and financial support.

The President’s Innovator Award: Synovus 

Synovus is an enduring corporate partner of Georgia Southern’s. The company’s community-focused team hires the University’s graduates, supports its programs, provides scholarships and cheers on the Eagles. 

Georgia Southern presented the 2024 President’s Innovator Award to Synovus representatives Darron Burnett and Kim Powell for the institution’s unwavering commitment to the University.

The President’s Visionary Award: Mike Sanders

Mike Sanders was a distinguished alumnus (‘81) and devoted supporter of the University who left an indelible mark on the institution through his tireless efforts to foster educational opportunities for future generations.

After graduating from Georgia Southern, he remained deeply connected to his alma mater throughout his life. His impact on the University was profound, as evidenced by his pivotal role as co-chair of the comprehensive campaign, Together We Soar. His contributions, spanning both time and resources, were instrumental in helping to shape the growth and development of Georgia Southern.

Sanders was honored as a remarkable individual whose impact will continue to inspire the Georgia Southern community for years to come. The University presented his children, Stephanie and Robbie, with the 2024 President’s Visionary Award in honor of their late father.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers approximately 155 different degree programs serving more than 26,100 students through 10 colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia with expert faculty, the University is focused on public impact research and engaging learning opportunities through knowledge and know-how that prepare our students to take ownership of their lives, careers and communities. Visit

Last updated: 4/2/2024