LSU recognizes 1,582 graduates at December Commencement
LSU recognized 1,582 graduates at the university's 282nd commencement exercises on campus Friday, Dec. 20. There is no main ceremony for December commencement, so each college held separate ceremonies to recognize their own individual students.
The 1,582 graduates included 1,233 bachelor's degrees, 240 master's and professional degrees and 109 doctoral degrees. The graduates represented 52 Louisiana parishes, 33 states and 40 foreign countries. Fifty-one percent of the class were women, and 48 percent were men. The youngest graduate was 20, while the oldest was 64. Among the graduates were 22 LSU employees who received degrees.
"Seeing a new group of graduates such as you today is one of the most rewarding things we can do as educators," said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander, who spoke at the LSU College of Agriculture ceremony.
Alexander spoke of the importance of agriculture in Louisiana and the long tradition that agriculture has in LSU's history. Alexander told the graduates that they are a shining example of the university's mission in action.
At the end of his talk, Alexander asked all of the first-generation graduates to stand for a special recognition. Following a round of applause for these students, he told them how important their accomplishment is to both themselves and future generations of their families.
Other speakers at college ceremonies during fall commencement included:
- College of Engineering: Mary Lauren Wheelahan, chemical engineering graduating senior from Bossier City, La.
- Manship School of Mass Communication: Dick Alario, Manship Board of Visitors member and chairman, president and CEO of Key Energy Services
- College of Music & Dramatic Arts: Kristin Sosnowsky, interim dean
- College of Art & Design: Darius Spieth, associate professor of art history
- College of Science: Dr. Melvin Triay, a 1976 graduate of LSU's biological sciences program and a board certified anesthesiologist with more than 29 years' experience
- College of Human Sciences & Education: Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré
During the College of Humanities & Social Sciences ceremony, a posthumous degree was awarded to the family of Christopher Broussard. The degree awarded was a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a concentration in criminology. Broussard died on Aug. 28, as the result of an automobile accident near St. Gabriel.
The LSU Honors College graduated eight students who earned College Honors Distinction, which also includes Upper Division Honors, for participating in a specific honors program and successfully completing and defending an undergraduate thesis.
The following students graduated with College Honors Distinction: Christian Hess, political science; Edward Limin Lo, geology; Christa Mahlobo, kinesiology; Malcom Christopher Ross Stagg, electrical engineering and computer engineering; Ryckur Schuttler, petroleum engineering; Ellen Victoria Johnson, theatre; Allyson French, kinesiology; Cassidy Von Springer, history.
There were 103 honor graduates 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 11 University Medal recipients who graduated with the highest grade point average in the class.
The fall 2013 University Medal recipients included Brittany Lyn Barrios, Bachelor of Arts from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences; Caroline Marie Boley, Bachelor of Arts from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences; Kyle Philip Descant, Bachelor of Science from the College of Human Science & Education; Jonathan Samuel Doucet, Bachelor of Science from the College of Science; Eric Paul Frances, Bachelor of Science from the College of Human Sciences & Education; Hunter Evan Hopkins, Bachelor of Science from the College of Science; Laura Allen Landry, Bachelor of Science from the E. J. Ourso College of Business; Kaylyn Clare Scaffidi, Bachelor of Science from the College of Human Sciences & Education; Melissa Jade Shaffer, Bachelor of Arts from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences; Malcolm Christopher Ross Stagg, Bachelor of Science from the College of Engineering; and Kelly M. Vogel, Bachelor of Science from the College of Science.
These 11 students were also recognized at a special ceremony in the Recital Hall of the School of Music Building on Thursday, Dec. 19.
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.
The distinguished communicators of 2013 are Ryckur Schuttler, petroleum engineering; Kevin Louth, mechanical engineering; Matt Wyatt, natural resource ecology & management; James Parker, civil engineering; and Christa Mahlobo, kinesiology.
Two students who took part in ROTC programs were commissioned into the U.S. military during a ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 19. Gregory Wayne Davis Jr. and Sheena Leigh Poole were commissioned as second lieutenants from the LSU Army ROTC program.
Student athletes who graduated this December include the following:
- Football: Zach Mettenberger, Lamin Barrow, Joshua Downs, Seth Fruge, Joshua Williford, Jason Slaydon, Armand Williams, Williams Allen, Jarrett Hardnett, and Evan Washington
- Baseball: Christopher Cotton, Tyler Hanover and Michael Mahtook
- Gymnastics: Erika Garcia and Britney Taylor
- Soccer: Megan Kinnerman, Danielle Murphy and Alexandra Ramsey
- Softball: Quinlan Duhon
- Swimming & Diving: Raymond DePadua, Craig Hamilton, Hanes Heyl, Kaelee Mader, Jana Ruimerman and Sally Wood
- Tennis: Roger Anderson, Kaitlin Burns, Thomas Knights, John Michaelis and Stefan Szacinski
- Track & Field: Evan Bergeron, Roger Cooke, Richard Fisher, Brittany Porter, Thomas Reinecke and Robert Simmons
- Volleyball: Madeline Jones
For more information on LSU commencement, visit www.lsu.edu/commencement. For a list of graduates, please visit http://sites01.lsu.edu/wp/commencement/category/commencement-lists/. The list includes December 2013 graduates who have authorized the release of their names.