More than 4,000 Degrees Expected to be Awarded During LSU’s 292nd Commencement Exercises

Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award, honorary degree also to be handed out on May 12

BATON ROUGE – More than 4,000 students are expected to receive degrees during the university’s 292nd commencement exercises on Friday, May 12, at LSU.

The main ceremony will take place in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, with the academic procession beginning at 7:45 a.m. and ceremony beginning at 8 a.m. Diploma ceremonies will follow, at various locations across campus.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will deliver the keynote address at the main ceremony. Also during the main ceremony, doctoral candidates will receive their diplomas individually, and degrees will be conferred for all students. There will be open admission to the main ceremony.

“We are pleased to welcome Gov. Edwards to campus to speak to our May graduates,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “Gov. Edwards has a long history of service to Louisiana, and we look forward to hearing the message he delivers to our graduates as they embark on the next stage of their lives.”

During the diploma 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 will have keynote speakers this year, including:

  • Renee Horton, NASA Michoud Assembly Facility space launch system lead metallic and weld engineer, at the College of Engineering ceremony at 11 a.m. in the Maravich Assembly Center;
  • Gracia Maria Shiffrin, LSU alumna and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, at the College of Art & Design ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in the LSU Student Union Theater;
  • Renée Edelman, senior vice president at Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm, at the Manship School of Mass Communication ceremony at 2 p.m. in the Maddox Field House;
  • Dr. Bill Cassidy, United States Senator from Louisiana, at the College of Science ceremony at 5 p.m. in the Maddox Field House.

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.

During the College of Engineering ceremony, the Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award will be presented. The Sean O’Keefe Leadership Award was created by LSU donors who recognized the leadership in former LSU Chancellor Sean O’Keefe during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  The award is designed to recognize and reward the outstanding LSU undergraduate student leader who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the past and possesses the character, capability, vision and motivation to be a leader in the future.

During the College of Art & Design ceremony, Suzanne Wilbert Turner will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Turner, who graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1947, has dedicated much of her life since then to the arts, education and cultural preservation. She has served on numerous boards at the local, state and national level including several affiliated with LSU. Her generous financial support has contributed to beatification and preservation efforts in Baton Rouge and throughout the state.

Alexander will preside over the main ceremony; LSU Board of Supervisors chair Scott Ballard 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 Brass Quintet. Lauren Brown, candidate for Doctor of Musical Art, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the LSU alma mater.

LSU will also honor about 50 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.

This semester, 60 students are expected to earn College Honors and six students are expected to earn Upper Division Honors Distinction from the LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College. These students participated in a specific honors program and successfully completed and defended an undergraduate thesis.

A number of ceremonies will take place during LSU’s commencement exercises:

  • Lavender graduation, hosted by the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, on May 10 at 1 p.m. in Hill Memorial Library;
  • Distinguished Communicator Ceremony, hosted by Communication across the Curriculum, on May 11 at 10 a.m. in the Business Education Complex room 1510;
  • LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College Ceremony in the Shaver Theatre at 1 p.m. on May 11. Amanda Staiano, an Honors College alumna and assistant professor at Pennington Biomedical, will be the keynote speaker;
  • ROTC commissioning ceremony, featuring keynote speaker Air Force Col. Jeffery F. Staha, on May 11 at 2 p.m. in the Union Theater;
  • African American Cultural Center’s Robing Ceremony on May 11 at 4 p.m. in the Bo Campbell Auditorium.

For those traveling to campus for commencement, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development offers travel updates online or via a mobile app with

Bag checks will be performed at the guest entrances of the Maravich Assembly Center and Fieldhouse. This is not the clear bag policy that is enforced for athetlic events. 

For more information on commencement, visit



Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations