LSU Recognizes 1,578 Graduates at December Commencement

12/19/2014 11:09 AM

BATON ROUGE – LSU recognized 1,578 graduates at the university’s 285th commencement exercises on campus Friday, Dec. 19. There is no main ceremony for December commencement, so each college held separate ceremonies to recognize their own individual students.

The 1,578 graduates included 1,247 bachelor’s degrees, 234 master’s and professional degrees or certificates and 97 doctoral degrees. The graduates represented 49 Louisiana parishes, 35 states and 41 foreign countries. Fifty-two percent of the class were men, and 48 percent were women. The youngest graduate was 19, while the oldest was 62. Among the graduates were 23 LSU employees who received degrees.

For a list of graduates, please visit The list includes December 2014 graduates who have authorized the release of their names.

With each college holding their own ceremonies for fall commencement, some had keynote speakers, including:

  • College of Agriculture: University of Louisiana System President Sandra Woodley
  • College of Art & Design: Carmon Colangelo, alumni honoree
  • College of Science: Dereck Rovaris, LSU vice provost for diversity
  • College of Engineering: Hillary Prevot, biological engineering graduating senior from Shreveport, La.


The LSU Honors College graduated 11 students who earned College Honors distinctions. These students participated in a specific honors program and successfully completed and defended an undergraduate thesis.

There were 90 honor graduates recognized during the ceremonies for having high GPAs and received magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude honors. Also included among the honor graduates were 14 University Medal recipients who graduated with the highest grade point average in the class. These 14 students were also recognized at a special ceremony in the Recital Hall of the School of Music Building on Thursday, Dec. 18.

This semester, 14 graduates were 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.

Five students who took part in ROTC programs were commissioned into the U.S. military during a ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 18. Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, the commanding general of both the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard, was the guest speaker for the ceremony. LSU Professor of Military Science Lt. Col. Lawrence P. House gave the commissioning oath of office and provided remarks. Marcos Chavez of Pasadena, Calif.; Matthew James Pennison of Metairie; Gary Roy Eicke Jr. of Metairie; David Dillon Weaver Mathies of Baton Rouge and Steven Honore of Baton Rouge were commissioned as second lieutenants from the LSU Army ROTC program.

LSU also saw the first graduates of the LSU Online program. Sidney Lane Allen Jr.; Jessica Samantha Frierson; Earvin Darnell Hughes; and Rebecca Lynn Wallette earned the Master of Science degree in human resource and leadership development. Michael James Batsche earned a Master of Science degree in construction management. Stacey Leigh Brewer became the first student from LSU to earn the post-baccalaureate certificate in construction management.

Other notable graduates this December included:

  • Deleon Wilson and Deanna Wilson, a mother-daughter duo who both received a Doctors of Philosophy degree in curriculum and instruction. Deleon is a librarian in East Baton Rouge Parish, and Deanna is a classroom teacher in East Baton Rouge.
  • Interdisciplinary Studies graduate Meredith Conger, of Prairieville, became a fifth generation LSU graduate from her family. She joins her parents, Laurina Amos Conger, bachelor’s degree in communications in 1992, and Robert Mark Conger,  bachelor’s degree in geology in 1982, master’s degree in environmental science 1996, and Ph.D. in oceanography and coastal sciences in 2003; her grandfather, Ralph Wayne Amos Jr., bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1958; her great grandfather, Ralph Wayne Amos Sr., bachelor’s degree in zoology and chemistry in 1940, and her great-great grandfather, Louis J. Voorhies, bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1906, as LSU alumni.
  • Human Sciences & Education’s Danielle La Magna, a native of Sugar Land, Texas, graduated as part of four generations of women to receive a degree from LSU in her family. Lauren, her sister, graduated May 2012 with a degree in mathematics. Her mother, Lydia Acosta, graduated with an elementary education degree in May 1986, and Jamie Ferguson, her Aunt, graduated in May 1992 with a psychology degree. Her grandmother, Sherry Harris, graduated May 1961 and just retired after 51 years from the EBR system where she served as a principal for the past 38 years. Her great grandmother, Jonnie Harelson, graduated in 1935 with an education degree and celebrated her 100th birthday this past March.
  • Chemical engineering graduate Frank Turk, of Baton Rouge, is also part of four generations to receive a chemical engineering degree from LSU. Frank Paul Turk, June 1934; Frank Paul Turk Jr., June 1957; and Fredrick Joseph Turk, May 1983, preceded Frank in receiving a chemical engineering degree.


For more information on LSU commencement, visit

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014