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F. King Alexander speaks, 715 students receive degrees at summer commencement

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander delivered the commencement address, and 715 students received degrees during LSU's 281st commencement ceremony on Friday, Aug. 9.

Alexander, who presided over commencement for the first time as LSU president and chancellor, congratulated the graduates and stressed that this accomplishment doesn't only belong to them. It also belongs to their families, the LSU faculty and staff, the state of Louisiana and LSU's alumni around the world.

Alexander praised the students for the significant accomplishment of earning their college degrees, and by earning their degrees, the graduates now join a selective and impressive group in educational success and attainment worldwide.

Alexander reminded the graduates that they now have a responsibility and obligation "to all those in need of acquiring new educational opportunities that will undoubtedly enable them to maximize their potential as individuals and global citizens."

"Your educational success, which we all celebrate today, should always remind you that you are needed to free others from the bonds of human ignorance and prejudice," Alexander said. "It should always remind you that you are needed to make the right social choices that expand economic prosperity, while also reducing existing inequalities, and it should always remind you that you are needed to ensure that the next generation of children and students have more educational and economic opportunities than the previous generations, whether you live in Louisiana, Canada or Kenya."

Alexander told the graduates that as they go forward in life, they should know that LSU has great faith in their talents and abilities to advance and change society for the betterment of all global citizens.

"We, as part of the LSU family, salute you and wish you the best of luck in all these endeavors and know that we will take great pride in everything that you accomplish," he said. "Go Grads, and Geaux Tigers!"

LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement

Of the 715 graduates, 194 earned master's degrees, eight received a certificate of education specialist and 123 received doctoral degrees.

The August 2013 graduating class represented 43 Louisiana parishes, 33 U.S. states and 32 foreign countries. Men made up 50.63 percent of the graduates, and women made up 49.37 percent. The oldest graduate was 66 and three graduates were the youngest at 20.

During the ceremony, Hank Danos, chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors, conferred degrees, and Kevin L. Cope, LSU Faculty Senate president, served as mace bearer. The "Star-Spangled Banner" and LSU alma mater was performed by Kristi Beinhauer, candidate for Master of Music, and the processional and recessional music was performed by the Norem Brass Quintet.

LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement

Ten students graduated with honors, including Michael J. Kelly of Metairie and Haleigh A. Robbins of Nevada, Iowa, who each received the University Medal for graduating with the highest undergraduate grade-point average.
Kelly received his bachelor's degree in accounting from the E. J. Ourso School of Business. After graduation, Robbins plans to attend graduate school at LSU and earn a master's degree in accounting, as well as working as a graduate assistant. He will also begin work as an external auditor with Deloitte & Touche in the summer of 2014.

Robbins graduated with a bachelor's degree in English writing and culture from the LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences. After graduation, she plans on substantializing her blog and eventually opening her own craft business. She would also like to raise a family with her husband, write novels for children and run a hobby farm.

LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement

During the commencement ceremony, Lt. Col. Lawrence Burns, professor of military science, recognized three newly commissioned ROTC cadets: 2nd Lt. Robert Emmett Brown of Baton Rouge, 2nd Lt. Raymon Perkins of Baton Rouge and 2nd Lt. Ariel Alma Rollins of Jeanerette. A separate commissioning ceremony was held on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 2 p.m. at the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium in the Energy, Coast and Environment Building.

Fifteen LSU student-athletes graduated during summer commencement, including football's Cleveland Davis, Derrick Bryant and DeAngelo Peterson; men's basketball's Mychal Williams and Eddie Ludwig; baseball's Casey Yocom; softball's Simone Heyward; women's swimming & driving's Chelsea Griffiths and Sara Haley; tennis' Keri Frankenberger and James Turbervill; track & field's Kyron Blaise, Shanekia Hall, Caleb Williams and Takeia Pinckney.

A complete list of graduates and honor graduates is available online at LSU's commencement website. This site can be accessed directly at www.lsu.edu/commencement.

LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement
LSU 281th Commencement