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Eight LSU seniors received University Medals for graduating with the highest undergraduate grade-point averages at LSU’s 270th commencement exercises on Friday, Dec. 18. Pictured from left to right: (front row) Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Astrid Merget, Richele Craven, Gary Walker Jr. and Chancellor Michael Martin;  (2nd row) Rhett Bouquet, Michael Miceli, and Mitchell Blanchard; (3rd row) Ashley Gieg, Molly Margaret Hadden and Claire Adkins
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LSU Recognizes 1,696 Graduates at December Commencement


Twin brothers Christopher and Michael Miceli were among the 1,696 graduates recognized at LSU’s 270th commencement exercises on Friday, Dec. 18.

Christopher and Michael, Slidell, La., natives who received degrees in computer science, were both LA-Stem research scholars at LSU. Michael was a University Medalist, meaning he achieved one of the highest undergraduate grade-point averages, and Christopher maintained a near-perfect GPA throughout his academic career.

Another graduate at the December commencement was Brian Michael Holden, son of Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden, who received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

Each college held its own ceremony to recognize its own individual students. The 1,696 graduates included 1,371 bachelor’s degrees, 237 master’s and professional degrees and 88 doctoral degrees. The graduates represent 52 Louisiana parishes, 36 states and 43 countries. The percentages of total graduates were split almost evenly with 50.65 percent men and 49.35 percent women. Among the undergraduates, 50.84 percent of the graduates were men and 49.16 percent were women, and they ranged in age from 19 to 60. Among the graduate students, 50.15 percent of the graduates were women and 49.85 percent were men, and they ranged in age from 22 to 61.

The LSU Honors College graduated 16 students. One of those students, Samia Rahman of Dhaka, Bangladesh, graduated with Upper Division Honors Distinction, and three students, Carly Jade Burt of Baton Rouge; Jessica Danielle Brinson of St. Joseph, La.; and Rachel Elizabeth Scott of Baton Rouge received College Honors Distinction, which also includes Upper Division Honors, for participating in a specific honors program and successfully completing and defending an undergraduate thesis.

Seventy-seven honor graduates were recognized during the ceremonies for having high GPAs and received magna cum laude, summa cum laude or cum laude honors. Also included in the honor graduates are eight University Medal recipients, who graduated with perfect grade point averages. These eight students were also recognized at a special ceremony at the LSU Faculty Club on Thursday, Dec. 17.

This semester, eight 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 Web sites, that include their communication projects from courses, internships, leadership roles and public service.

Graduates who took part in ROTC programs were recognized for being commissioned into the U.S. military. Five of the graduates are Army ROTC, including two who will graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Dec. 19, and one is Navy ROTC. They were honored at commissioning ceremonies on Thursday, Dec. 17.

The names of students who received degrees can be accessed at LSU’s commencement Web site, http://www.lsu.edu/commencement. The list is for December 2009 graduates who have authorized the release of their names.

Other noteworthy graduates this semester include 19 LSU student-athletes who received their degrees. Notable LSU athletes who graduated include members of the 2009 National Champion baseball team: Derek Helenihi, Kevin Farnsworth and Christopher McGhee; and several members of the 2009 Tiger football team: Chad Baniecki, Ciron Black, Harry Coleman, Jacob Cutrera, Brandon Lafell and Lyle Hitt.

Ernie Ballard | Editor | Office of Communications & University Relations
December 2009