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Campus Events, General Information, Honors & Awards

LSU to Hold 279th Commencement Exercises on Friday, Dec. 14

12/12/2012 03:06 PM

BATON ROUGE – Approximately 1,760 potential graduates will be recognized during LSU’s 279th commencement exercises on Friday, Dec. 14. This number includes about 1,417 bachelor’s degrees, 263 master’s and professional degrees and 80 doctoral degrees.


There is no main ceremony for December commencement, but every degree candidate’s name will be called individually at separate ceremonies for each college. The college ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at various locations on campus. For more information on the times and locations of the college ceremonies, visit


Some notable keynote speakers at the college ceremonies include:

  • College of Human Sciences & Education ceremony at 9 a.m. in the Maddox Fieldhouse: Andre J. Champagne, alumnus and founder of Hollywood Trucks LLC
  • College of Science ceremony at 9 a.m. in the Student Recreation Complex: Maj. Gen. Jasper A. Welch, distinguished alumnus
  • Manship School of Mass Communication ceremony at 9 a.m. in the LSU Student Union Theater: Dan Borné, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association, alumnus, adjunct faculty member and public address announcer at Tiger Stadium and at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center
  • College of Agriculture ceremony at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Recreation Complex: William Jenkins, interim president of the LSU System and interim chancellor of LSU
  • College of Art & Design ceremony at 12:30 p.m. at the LSU Student Union Theater: Alkis Tsolakis, dean designate, College of Art & Design


During the College of Engineering ceremony at 12:30 p.m. in the Maddox Fieldhouse, a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree will be awarded to Ed Steimel. Steimel, a native of Baton Rouge, was the founding executive director of the Public Affairs Research Council, or PAR, a private, nonprofit research organization that studies governmental policy issues and publicizes findings and recommendations. Steimel and PAR were motivating forces for a constitutional convention that led to the adoption of a new Louisiana constitution in 1973. He later served as the executive director of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, or LABI, which has helped to enact more than 50 pieces of education reform legislation.


Additionally, Steimel has been a tireless fundraiser for LSU, serving as development director for the College of Engineering. During his tenure, the college secured more than 50 scholarship funds, 106 professorships and 15 chairs. Each year, thanks to his generosity, the college awards the Ed Steimel Staff Excellence Award to an outstanding employee.


The LSU Honors College has 16 degree candidates expected to graduate during fall commencement. Two of these students are expected to graduate with Upper Division Honors Distinction and two with College Honors Distinction, which also includes Upper Division Honors, for participating in a specific honors program and successfully completing and defending an undergraduate thesis.


Some 96 potential honor graduates will be recognized during the ceremonies for having high GPAs and will be recognized as magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude. Also included in the honor graduates are the 13 potential University Medal recipients, who are expected to graduate with perfect grade point averages. These 13 students will also be recognized at a special ceremony in the Recital Hall of the School of Music Building, located at the corner of Dalrymple Drive and Infirmary Road. Media wishing to take photos of the medalists should arrive at 3:15 p.m.


This semester, four graduates will be 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.


Degree candidates who took part in ROTC programs will be recognized for being commissioned into the U.S. military during a ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. at the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium in the Energy, Coast & Environment Building. Five LSU students will be commissioned as second lieutenants from the LSU Army ROTC program, and three LSU students will be commissioned from Southern University’s Navy ROTC program.


Some noteworthy students expected to graduate this semester include:

  • Ryan Orgera, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental geography, who was the recipient of the National Sea Grant College Program’s Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship;
  • Erica Livi, who is earning a bachelor’s degree from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, is fluent in four languages and is learning two others. She has accepted a position in Switzerland after graduation as an assistant/interpreter at a financial company;
  • Brothers Russell Collins, earning a degree in interdisciplinary studies, and Garrett Collins, earning a degree in kinesiology are both graduating this semester;
  • Natalie Denby, daughter of Regents Associate Commissioner for Academic Affairs Karen Denby, is earning dual degrees in microbiology and philosophy;
  • Former LSU and professional basketball player Stanley Roberts, who is earning a bachelor’s degree from the College of Human Sciences & Education.


For more information on LSU commencement, visit

LSU Media Relations