Alumnus and Actor Michael Papajohn Speaks, 686 Students Receive Degrees at LSU’s 278th Commencement

08/03/2012 01:01 PM

BATON ROUGE – LSU alumnus and actor Michael Papajohn delivered the commencement address, and 686 students received degrees at LSU’s 278th commencement exercises on Friday, Aug. 3.


Of the 686 graduates, 212 earned master’s degrees, four received a certificate of education specialist and 100 received doctoral degrees. Eleven students graduated with honors, including Hayley Alexandra Kropog, who received the University Medal for graduating with the highest undergraduate grade-point average.


The August 2012 graduating class represented 45 Louisiana parishes, 35 U.S. states and 28 foreign countries. Women made up 51.75 percent of the graduates and men made up 48.25 percent. The oldest graduate was 62 and three graduates were the youngest at 20.


In one of his final acts as LSU chancellor, Michael V. Martin presided over the ceremony. William Jenkins, interim president of the LSU System, conferred degrees, and Kevin L. Cope, LSU Faculty Senate president, served as mace bearer. The invocation and benediction were given by the Rev. Dr. Steve Crump, senior minister at Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge. The “Star-Spangled Banner” and LSU alma mater were performed by Amy Porter, a doctoral student in the College of Music & Dramatic Arts, and the processional and recessional music were performed by the Norem Brass Quintet.


Kropog was recognized as the sole University Medalist during the ceremony. She graduated from the Manship School of Mass Communication with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree in broadcast journalism. Kropog is a four-year member of the LSU Tiger Girls – spending the last two years as team captain – and was an anchor for Tiger TV. She plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and is currently working as an international dance instructor for the Universal Dance Association.


During the commencement ceremony, Lt. Col. Lawrence Burns, professor of military science, recognized LSU’s five newly commissioned ROTC officers. A separate commissioning ceremony was held on Thursday, Aug. 2, at the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium in the Energy, Coast and Environment Building.


LSU honored Trevor Fanning of New Orleans with the LSU Distinguished Communicator Award. Fanning earned this honor by meeting high standards set by faculty in various colleges and by the LSU Communication across the Curriculum program. He earned a high grade-point average in communication-intensive courses – based on written, spoken, visual and technological communication – and built a digital portfolio displayed as a public website that includes communication projects from courses, internships, leadership roles and public service.


Eleven LSU student-athletes graduated during summer commencement, including football’s Chevis Jackson, 2007 First-Team All-SEC; Richard Dickson, 2006 and 2008 Second-Team All-SEC; and Darry Beckwith, 2008 Butkus Award Finalist and 2007 and 2008 Second-Team All-SEC; softball’s Juliana Santos, 2009 NFCA All-South Region First Team; and track and field’s Keyth Talley, 2012 NCAA 4x100 relay team National Champion and 2011 Outdoor All-American.


A complete list of graduates and honor graduates will be available online Aug. 3 at LSU’s commencement website. This site can be accessed through LSU’s home page at or directly at

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Friday, August 3, 2012