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LSU Recognizes 1,651 Graduates at December Commencement

Graduation is a season of celebration. On Dec. 16, family and friends were able to celebrate the accomplishments of 1,651 new LSU graduates who earned bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees at the university's 276th commencement.

2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement Jim Zietz/Eddy Perez/University Relations

There is no main ceremony for December commencement, so each college held separate ceremonies to recognize their own individual students.

LSU Chancellor Michael Martin, who spoke at the College of Engineering's commencement, congratulated the graduating class for investing in themselves and looks forward to seeing them go out and make a difference.

"I want you to remember what we call this day. It's called commencement, which means it's the not the end, it's only the beginning," Martin said. "This is really the beginning of where you are now going to utilize your education as you continue to educate yourself. So when I congratulate you, I'm congratulating you on what you will achieve, not just what you have achieved."

Martin provided the class with four pieces of key advice: never stop learning, never fear failure, know what you don't want to do but leave yourself open for an adventure, and always know you are a part of the LSU Tiger family.

"We will be proud of whatever you accomplish," Martin said. "We know that you will carry the flag of this institution with you wherever you go, and we will be basking in the glow of your success for all the students who come after you."

Before ending his keynote address, Martin left the students with one final piece of information.

"Remember this, 24-13 … that will be the score of the BCS Championship," said Martin, who ended with "Geaux Tigers!"

The 1,651 graduates included 1,281 bachelor's degrees, 258 master's and professional degrees and 112 doctoral degrees. The graduates represented 54 Louisiana parishes, 33 states and 45 countries. The percentage of total graduates was split almost evenly with 51.3 percent men and 48.7 percent women. Among the undergraduates, 50.2 percent of the graduates were men and 49.8 percent were women, and they ranged in age from 19 to 58. Among the graduate students, 55.14 percent of the graduates were men and 44.86 percent were women, and they ranged in age from 22 to 60.

Those graduating this fall experienced something new at commencement ceremonies. The Faculty Senate and university registrar recently approved new commencement gowns, which were worn by LSU graduates for the first time during fall commencement.

The undergraduate gown is purple with the LSU logo embroidered on the chest. The graduate gown remains black, but also features the LSU logo. The doctoral gown is purple with gold accents and the LSU System logo embroidered on the front. The hood colors vary depending on degree.

2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement 2011 Fall Commencement Jim Zietz/Eddy Perez/University Relations

In addition to Martin, other colleges who had keynote speakers included the College of Science: Alice Hilseweck Ball, LSU alumna and benefactor of the college; Manship School of Mass Communication: CEO of Lamar Advertising Sean Reilly; College of Art & Design: Stephen Beck, Derryl and Helen Haymon Professor of Composition and Computer Music, director of the AVATAR Initiative in digital media, and area head for the cultural computing focus area at the Center for Computation & Technology at LSU; College of Agriculture: Ken Bondioli, associate professor in the School of Animal Sciences; College of Education: Karl Roider, Thomas and Lillian Alumni Professor and former dean of the LSU College of Arts & Sciences (now Humanities & Social Sciences); and School of Library & Information Science: Elizabeth Cenac, who holds a Master of Library Science degree from LSU and is a consultant for public libraries around the country.

The LSU Honors College graduated 15 students this fall. Two of these students graduated with Upper Division Honors Distinction and one with College Honors Distinction, which also includes Upper Division Honors, for participating in a specific honors program and successfully completing and defending an undergraduate thesis.

Eighty-six honor graduates were recognized during the ceremonies for having high GPAs and received magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude honors. Also included among the honor graduates were 10 University Medal recipients who graduated with perfect grade point averages. These 10 students were also recognized at a special ceremony at the LSU Faculty Club on Thursday, Dec. 15.

This semester, five graduates were awarded the LSU Distinguished Communicator Award. These students earned this honor by meeting high standards set by faculty in various colleges and by the LSU Communication across the Curriculum program. The students earned high grade-point averages in communication-intensive courses – based on written, spoken, visual and technological communication – and have built digital portfolios, displayed as public websites, that include their communication projects from courses, internships, leadership roles and public service.

Degree candidates who took part in ROTC programs were recognized for being commissioned into the U.S. military during ceremonies on Thursday, Dec. 15. Four students who participated in the Army ROTC program were commissioned at a ceremony in the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium in the Energy, Coast & Environment Building, and three students who participated in the Navy ROTC program through Southern University were commissioned at a ceremony on the LSU Parade Ground.

For more information on LSU commencement, visit www.lsu.edu/commencement.