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Foreign Service’s Linda Thomas-Greenfield Speaks, 3,827 Students Receive Degrees at LSU’s 277th Commencement Exercises

05/18/2012 11:36 AM

BATON ROUGE – 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, delivered the commencement address and 3,827 students received degrees at LSU’s 277th commencement exercises on Friday, May 18.


During the main ceremony, doctoral candidates received their diplomas individually, and degrees were conferred for all students. Separate diploma ceremonies for each college followed at various times and locations across campus. At those ceremonies, every student was recognized individually.


LSU Chancellor Michael Martin presided over the main ceremony and recognized 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 attended the ceremony. LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman Garrett H. “Hank” Danos conferred degrees, and LSU Faculty Senate President and Professor of English Kevin Cope served as mace bearer.


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


The May 2012 graduating class represents 60 Louisiana parishes, 45 U.S. states and 58 foreign countries. Fifty-five percent of the graduates were women and 45 percent were men. The oldest graduate is 72, and four graduates were the youngest at 20. The 3,827 total graduates are made up of 2,911 students who received bachelor’s degrees; 716 who received master’s degrees; five who received education specialist certificates; 106 who received a Ph.D.; seven who received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree; and 82 who received Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.


A number of diploma ceremonies also had prominent speakers this year. Oscar and three-time Emmy Award-winning composer Bill Conti, a graduate of the LSU School of Music, spoke at the College of Music & Dramatic Arts ceremony; Russel L. Honoré, a retired lieutenant general and 33rd commanding general of the U.S. First Army at Fort Gillem, Ga., spoke at the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business ceremony; Bob Schieffer, longtime CBS News correspondent and moderator of “Face the Nation,” spoke at the Manship School of Mass Communication; and Secretary Stephen Moret of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, or LED, an LSU mechanical engineering alumnus, spoke at the College of Engineering ceremony.


In addition to Schieffer’s keynote address, the Manship School of Mass Communication ceremony also featured alumna Rebecca Roubion signing “Believe,” a song that she wrote for LSU. Roubion was a STRIPES leader in 2006 and the song is played each year during STRIPES.


During the main ceremony, Lt. Col. John Wright, associate professor of aerospace studies, recognized the newly commissioned Army, Air Force and Navy ROTC cadets. The 20 cadets – eight 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 – were officially commissioned at a separate ceremony on Thursday, May 17.                                                          


LSU honored 40 graduates 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 404 students are expected to graduate with honors, including 42 students who are potentially slated to receive University Medals for graduating with the highest undergraduate grade-point average in the class. University Medalists were honored at a special ceremony on Thursday, May 17, at the LSU Union Theater.


This semester, 44 students earned College Honors and nine students 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 were recognized in the LSU African-American Cultural Center’s 16th annual Robing Ceremony on Thursday, May 17. During the event, degree candidates received the traditional African Kente stole in LSU colors to signify the completion of their academic journey. The Robing Ceremony was 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.


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LSU Media Relations