LSU to Hold 283rd Commencement Exercises May 15 and 16

05/13/2014 11:19 AM

BATON ROUGE – Approximately 3,997 students are expected to graduate during LSU’s 283rd commencement exercises on Thursday, May 15, and Friday, May 16. During the main ceremony on May 15, the academic procession will begin at 6:45 p.m., and ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Ray Mabus, the 75th United States Secretary of the Navy and leader of America’s Navy and Marine Corps, will deliver the keynote address.

“We are excited to welcome Secretary Mabus to campus to speak at our spring commencement,” said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander. “He brings a wealth of leadership knowledge and experience that will be beneficial for our graduating class to hear, and we look forward to his talk and the advice he gives to our students.”

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 be held on May 16 at various times and locations around campus. 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 on May 16 will have keynote speakers this year, including:

  • Provost at University of Nevada, Reno, Kevin Carman, who is the former dean of the LSU College of Science, speaking at the College of Science ceremony at 9 a.m. in the Maddox Fieldhouse;
  • Suzanne Turner, professor emeritus from the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, speaking at the College of Art & Design ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Student Union Theater;
  • Eric Holowacz, president and CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, 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;
  • Dr. William Cefalu, executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, speaking at the College of Agriculture ceremony at 12:30 p.m. in the Maddox Fieldhouse;
  • Harry Longwell, retired director and executive vice president of ExxonMobil Corporation and a 1963 LSU petroleum engineering graduate, speaking at the College of Engineering ceremony at 12:30 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center;
  • Rene Syler, television personality and entrepreneur, speaking at the Manship School of Mass Communication ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Theater;
  • Kinesiology graduate Kaitlyn Salzer speaking at the College of Human Sciences & Education ceremony at 4 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.


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.

Alexander will preside over the main ceremony and will recognize the LSU class of 1964 and the Golden Tigers, or those who graduated at least 50 years ago. LSU Board of Supervisors member Rolfe McCollister Jr. 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 Dennis Llinas. Matthew Joseph Daniels, candidate for Doctor of Musical Arts, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the LSU alma mater.

During the main ceremony, an honorary degree will be awarded to George “Buddy” Guy for his distinguished music career. Guy worked in LSU’s facilities services department from 1955 to 1958, before leaving to pursue a musical career in Chicago. Guy is a six-time Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist who has influenced generations of musicians.

During the main ceremony, Cmdr. Tremayne Criner will recognize the newly commissioned Army, Air Force and Navy ROTC cadets. The cadets will be officially commissioned at a separate ceremony on May 15 at 2 p.m. in the Bo Campbell Auditorium in the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes.

LSU will also honor the first group of African American students to desegregate the LSU undergraduate program on the 50th anniversary of their enrollment. Six students – Freya Anderson, Carlice Collins, Mason Ingram, Oliver Mack Jr., Clifford Ray Smith and Adam Sterling III – who legally challenged standing segregation laws and other African American undergraduates who enrolled with them in the summer of 1964 will be recognized at the 18th annual Robing Ceremony hosted by the African American Cultural Center. The event will take place in the Bo Campbell Auditorium in the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes on May 15 at 4 p.m.

LSU will also honor about 72 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 456 students are expected to graduate with honors, including 55 students who are potentially slated to receive University Medals for graduating with the highest undergraduate grade-point average in the class.

This semester, 65 students are expected to earn College Honors and six 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.

For more information on commencement, visit

Media Note:
Secretary Mabus will have a media availability prior to LSU’s main commencement ceremony. He will be available at 6:15 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Contact Ernie Ballard, LSU media relations director, at 225-578-5685 or for more details.

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2014