More than 4,900 students are expected to be eligible to receive degrees when the university holds spring commencement exercises May 12. As part of the ceremony, UGA will award an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Vernon Jordan Jr., an early leader in the civil rights movement.
An estimated 3,780 undergraduates will be eligible to receive bachelor’s degrees at the undergraduate ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in Sanford Stadium. In case of bad weather, the ceremony will be held in Stegeman Coliseum in two sessions, at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. A decision on moving to the coliseum will be made by 6:30 a.m. and will be announced on Athens radio stations and posted on the UGA home page (www.uga.edu).
Exercises for graduate students will be at 2:30 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum. An estimated 1,150 candidates for doctoral, master’s and specialist degrees are expected to be eligible to participate.
Details about both undergraduate and graduate ceremonies are available online (www.reg.uga.edu/or.nsf/html/commencement).
The speaker for the undergraduate ceremony will be Erroll Davis Jr., chancellor of the University System of Georgia. Davis became chancellor in February 2006, after working many years in the energy industry. He was chair of the board of Alliant Energy Corp., an energy holding company, and president and CEO of WPL Holdings, an energy company in Wisconsin. He is a former chair of the trustees of Carnegie Mellon University and was a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents prior to coming to Georgia.
In addition to his role in the civil rights movement, Jordan has been an adviser to U.S. presidents and is a frequent media commentator on current issues. Jordan has been president and CEO of the National Urban League, executive director of the United Negro College Fund and was chairman of Bill Clinton’s presidential transition team. He was part of the legal team that helped integrate the University of Georgia in 1961 and has received the NAACP’s highest award for achievement by black Americans.
Katherine Eubanks, who will graduate with degrees in political science and telecommunication arts, will be the student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. Eubanks received a UGA Charter Scholarship and a Governor’s Scholarship, has worked on the student production staff for the Peabody Awards and was an intern for Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Lawmakers program.
Sixty-one seniors who have maintained perfect 4.0 grade point averages will be recognized as First Honor Graduates. This is the largest number of First Honor Graduates ever at UGA.
The speaker for the graduate commencement ceremony will be Mary Frances Early, the first African American to receive a degree from UGA. Early graduated in 1962 with a master’s degree in music education and had a lengthy career as a music teacher and administrator in Atlanta public schools and colleges. She was the first African-American president of the Georgia Music Educators Association and received the group’s Distinguished Educator Award. The College of Education has created an endowed professorship named for her, and UGA holds an annual lecture in her honor.