Campus News

5,600-plus will join ranks of UGA alums after spring 2015 Commencement

Amy Robach Grady alum studio headshot-v
Amy Robach (Credit: Heidi Gutman/ABC)

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will welcome its newest class of alumni on May 8. Approximately 4,488 undergraduates and 1,179 graduate students—a total of 5,667—have met requirements to walk in the university’s spring Commencement ceremonies.

The undergraduate ceremony will include an additional 1,022 summer candidates who were invited to walk in the spring ceremony.

The undergraduate ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium, and Amy Robach of “Good Morning America” will give the address.

A 1995 alumna of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Robach has been a news anchor for ABC’s “Good Morning America” since March 2014. During her time at ABC News—she originally joined the network as a correspondent based in New York—she has traveled nationally and internationally to cover major news events.

Originally from Lansing, Michigan, Robach lived in St. Louis, Missouri, before moving south to Atlanta just before high school. She graduated from UGA with honors and a degree in broadcast journalism.

During the undergraduate ceremony, 15 students will be recognized as First Honor Graduates for maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in all work attempted at UGA as well as all college-level transfer work attempted prior to or following enrollment at the university.

Student Commencement speaker Hayes Patrick of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is graduating with bachelors’ degrees in biology and psychology, with a focus on pre-medicine, from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. His accomplishments include serving as executive director of UGA HEROs; participating in the UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, Kappa Alpha Order and a Maymester abroad in Cortona, Italy; being named to Phi Beta Kappa and the Blue Key Honor Society; and interning at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

An estimated 189 doctoral candidates and 990 master’s and specialist degree students will be eligible to walk in the graduate ceremony at 10 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum. University Professor Emeritus Gary Bertsch, who is now chairman of the international advisory group TradeSecure LLC, will address the graduates and guests.

Bertsch, who now also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, retired from UGA in 2010 as the director of the Center for International Trade and Security, a UGA-based program he founded in 1987 that conducts international research, teaching and outreach to promote economic prosperity, international peace and security. He began his tenure on the UGA faculty in 1969 as an undergraduate adviser in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and undergraduate director and graduate director in the political science department.

Bertsch earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science at the University of Oregon and received his bachelor’s degree in government from Idaho State University.

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

Both ceremonies will be streamed live at and broadcast live on Channel 15 of the University Cable System and Channel 181 of the Charter Cable System. No backpacks, bags larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches or unopened packages will be allowed at either venue.

General seating tickets are not required for either event.

For more information on UGA graduation requirements and Commencement ceremonies, see