Campus News

2,355 eligible to graduate in UGA’s fall Commencement ceremony

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will welcome its newest class of alumni on Dec. 19 as 1,858 undergraduates and 497 graduate students—a total of 2,355—have met requirements to walk in the university’s fall Commencement ceremonies.

The undergraduate Commencement ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum, and tickets are required. The graduate ceremony will follow at 2:30 p.m.

Roger Hunter, a University of Georgia alumnus and associate director for programs at the NASA Ames Research Center, will deliver the university’s undergraduate Commencement address.

In his current capacity, Hunter leads the center’s small spacecraft mission and technology development programs as well as the NASA Ames Small Spacecraft Integrated Project Team. He also is a technical lead for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s PHOENIX program. Previously, he served almost six years as the project manager for the Kepler Mission, NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets around other stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Prior to joining NASA in 2008, Hunter led the Boeing Global Positioning System Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He served 22 years in the U.S. Air Force—he was commissioned as an officer after graduation from UGA—and retired in 2000.

In 1978, Hunter received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UGA. He holds a master’s degree in space operations and physics from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in airpower doctrine and strategy from the U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College and U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College.

Robert Davis Mastin of Atlanta will be the student speaker during the undergraduate exercises. He will receive dual bachelor’s degrees in finance and marketing.

Four students will be recognized as First Honor Graduates during the undergraduate exercises for maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in all work attempted at UGA as well as all college-level transfer work prior to or following enrollment at the university. These students are Emily Katherine Southard of Lawrenceville, double-majoring in public relations and sport management; Mary Mildred Smith of Cochran, majoring in early childhood education; Jessica Lynn Tracy of Cartersville, double-majoring in mathematics and mathematics education; and Samuel John Kinsman of Woodstock, majoring in finance.

Of the 497 graduate students eligible to walk at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, 110 are doctoral candidates and 387 are receiving their masters or specialist degrees.

Gregory H. Robinson, the UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, will deliver the graduate Commencement address. Over the past 25 years, Robinson and his research team have published a series of fundamental findings that have reshaped how scientists view chemical bonding in many inorganic compounds.

Robinson joined the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences faculty in 1995 and was named Distinguished Research Professor in 2000, Franklin Professor in 2005 and UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor in 2013. He teaches a range of courses in chemistry, including large introductory chemistry classes, upper-division inorganic chemistry courses and graduate-level seminars.

His honors include a SEC Faculty Achievement Award in 2014, the Humboldt Research Award, the F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry, the National Science Foundation’s Award for Special Creativity, the Percy L. Julian Award of the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and the university’s Lamar Dodd Research Award. He has presented his research in nearly 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, six book chapters, a book and dozens of regional, national and international conference presentations.

Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Jacksonville State University and his doctorate from the University of Alabama.

Because Commencement falls on a Friday, a routine UGA workday, parking patterns on South Campus near the coliseum will be adjusted. The South Campus parking deck (S-11), Carlton Street parking deck (S-15) and Foley Field/Magill Tennis Complex lot (S-14) will be open at no charge for visitors and guests. The Hoke Smith parking lot (S-12) and sections of the Coverdell lot (S-16) will be reserved for handicapped guests with proper placards. The McPhaul Center lot (S-10) will be reserved for members of the Commencement platform party.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on channel 15 of the university cable system and channel 181 of the Charter cable system and will be streamed live at

For more information on Commencement at UGA, see