Campus News

Good Eats chef and SPIA dean to speak at Commencement exercises

Good Eats chef and SPIA dean to speak at Commencement exercises

Athens, Ga. – Nationally recognized chef and television personality Alton Brown will be the speaker at the University of Georgia’s spring undergraduate Commencement exercises at 6:30 p.m. May 8 in Sanford Stadium.


Thomas Lauth, dean of the university’s School of Public and International Affairs, will deliver an address at the graduate exercise the same day at 10 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum.


“We are pleased to welcome UGA alumnus and Peabody Award winner Alton Brown back to campus to deliver the undergraduate commencement address as we celebrate the 225th anniversary of the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “He has shown that a UGA education can help provide a solid foundation for success.


“Tom Lauth has a distinguished career in higher education, including his service at UGA. He has ably led the School of Public and International Affairs with world-renowned faculty and highly successful students and alumni,” said Adams. “These speakers will bring messages of wisdom, hope and inspiration to our graduates, and we are delighted to have them address the spring ceremonies.”


Brown, author and host of the Food Network’s Good Eats, attended UGA in the 1980s and eventually received a drama degree in 2004. He also earned a degree from the New England Culinary Institute in 1997.


In addition to holding distinction as the first Peabody Award-winning host for the Food Network, Brown has written six books, including I’m Just Here for the Food, which won the 2003 James Beard Foundation Award for best cookbook in the reference category.


He also was named the 2004 Cooking Teacher of the Year at the seventh Annual Bon AppetitAmerican Food and Entertaining Awards. His article, “Thanksgiving Starts Here” which appeared in the November 2003 issue of Bon Appetit, was nominated for a 2004 National Magazine Award.


Lauth has been dean of the School of Public and International Affairs since it was established in 2001. He headed the political science department at UGA from 1988 to 2001. He was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2000 and is the recipient of a lifetime scholarly achievement award from the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management.


Lauth came to UGA in 1981 after six years in the political science department at Georgia State University. He directed UGA’s Doctor of Public Administration program from 1982 to 1988.


He received his bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Notre Dame and holds a Ph.D. in political science from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


In case of inclement weather, the undergraduate ceremony will be moved to 1:30 p.m. May 9.