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LSU to Hold 277th Commencement Exercises Friday, May 18

LSU Alumna Linda Thomas-Greenfield to Present the Main Commencement Address

05/15/2012 02:39 PM

BATON ROUGE – Approximately 3,855 students are expected to graduate during LSU’s 277th commencement exercises on Friday, May 18. The academic procession will begin at 8:45 a.m., and the main ceremony will begin at 9 a.m., both in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.


Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources Linda Thomas-Greenfield, an LSU alumna and a member of the Career Foreign Service, will deliver the keynote address


“We are pleased to welcome Linda Thomas-Greenfield back to campus to speak during commencement,” said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. “It’s always great to bring someone with such a stellar career and resume to speak at graduation, and with her being a fellow Tiger, it makes it all the more exciting. It’s a global world that we are living in, and with her experience in the U.S. Foreign Service, her commencement message is one that will include many important lessons for our graduates.”


During the main ceremony, doctoral candidates will receive their diplomas individually, degrees will be conferred for all students and University Medalists will be recognized. There will be open admission to the main ceremony.


Diploma ceremonies for each college will follow the main ceremony and will be held at various times and locations around campus on Commencement Day. During those ceremonies, each graduate’s name will be called, and diplomas will be handed out individually on stage. For more information on the times and locations of the college diploma ceremonies, go to


A number of diploma ceremonies will have prominent speakers this year, including Oscar and three-time Emmy Award-winning composer Bill Conti, who is also a graduate of the LSU School of Music, speaking at the College of Music & Dramatic Arts ceremony at noon in the Bo Campbell Auditorium of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes; Russel L. Honoré, a retired lieutenant general and 33rd commanding general of the U.S. First Army at Fort Gillem, Ga., speaking at the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business ceremony at 12:30 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center; Bob Schieffer, longtime CBS News correspondent and moderator of “Face the Nation,” speaking at the Manship School of Mass Communication ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in the LSU Student Union Theater; and Secretary Stephen Moret of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, or LED, who is an LSU mechanical engineering alumnus, speaking at the College of Engineering ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in the Maddox Field House.


Diploma ceremonies for respective colleges may or may not require tickets for admission. Those wishing to attend diploma ceremonies are asked to check with the student(s) or contact the respective college(s) for further information.


Martin will preside over the main ceremony and will recognize the LSU class of 1962 and the Golden Tigers, or those who graduated at least 50 years ago, including a 99-year old alum who is expected to attend the ceremony. LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman Garrett H. “Hank” Danos will confer degrees, and LSU Faculty Senate President and Professor of English Kevin Cope will serve as mace bearer.


The processional and recessional music will be provided by the LSU Wind Ensemble, conducted by Donald McKinney. Jin Hin Yap, candidate for Doctor of Musical Arts, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the LSU alma mater. The invocation and benediction will be by the Rev. Michael R. Button of St. Paul Lutheran Church.


During the main ceremony, Lt. Col. John Wright, associate professor of aerospace studies, will recognize the newly commissioned Army, Air Force and Navy ROTC cadets. The 21 cadets – nine cadets commissioned from the LSU Army ROTC program, nine from the Air Force ROTC program and three LSU cadets commissioned from the Southern University Navy ROTC program – will be officially commissioned at a separate ceremony on Thursday, May 17, at 10 a.m. in the Bo Campbell Auditorium of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes. Maj. Gen. Joseph D. Brown IV, commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C., will be the guest speaker for the LSU ROTC 2012 Spring Commissioning Ceremony.                                                          

LSU will also honor about 39 graduating students with 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.


About 425 students are expected to graduate with honors, including 44 students who are potentially slated to receive University Medals for graduating with the highest undergraduate grade-point average in the class. University Medalists will be honored at a special ceremony on Thursday, May 17, from 4-6 p.m. at the LSU Union Theater.


This semester, 44 students are expected to earn College Honors and nine students are expected to earn Upper Division Honors Distinction from the LSU Honors College. These students participated in a specific honors program and successfully completed and defended an undergraduate thesis.


More than 500 African and African-American students will have the opportunity to participate in the LSU African-American Cultural Center’s 16th annual Robing Ceremony on Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m. in the Bo Campbell Auditorium at the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes. During the event, degree candidates receive the traditional African Kente stole in LSU colors to signify the completion of their academic journey. The Robing Ceremony is sponsored by the African-American Cultural Center; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; the Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach; and the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes.


For more information on commencement, visit

LSU Media Relations