Supreme Court Associate Justice Thomas to speak at UGA commencement May 10

Supreme Court Associate Justice Thomas to speak at UGA commencement May 10

Athens, Ga. – U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas will be the speaker for the University of Georgia’s undergraduate commencement exercises May 10.

The ceremony will be held in Sanford Stadium beginning at 9:30 a.m. In case of bad weather, the ceremony will be moved to Stegeman Coliseum and split into two sessions, at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.

The speaker for students receiving master’s, doctoral and education specialist degrees will be Michael B. Bunch, senior vice president of Measurement, Inc., a firm that develops tests and assessment programs for educational organizations throughout the country. The graduate ceremony will be at 2:30 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum.

“Clarence Thomas is only the fifth native Georgian ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and is one of our nation’s most distinguished jurists,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “Michael Bunch holds three UGA degrees and is a noted national leader in the field of educational research and assessment. We are pleased that our graduating students will have the opportunity to learn from, and be inspired by, these outstanding speakers.”

The student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony will be Deep Shah, a recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship. Shah, who will graduate with degrees in biology and international affairs, is a UGA Foundation Fellow and last year received the Harry Truman Scholarship.

Thomas, who was born in Pinpoint, Ga., was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. He previously was on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Thomas also has served as chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and as assistant secretary for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Education, and was a legislative assistant to former U.S. Sen. John Danforth.

A graduate of Holy Cross College and Yale University law school, Thomas has visited UGA several times. He spoke at the 2006 Blue Key Awards Banquet and received the Blue Key Service Award. In 2003, he spoke at commencement for the UGA School of Law and returned the following fall to visit with students and faculty in the law school.

Bunch heads the research and development division of Measurement, Inc., and is a director of the firm. Based in Durham, N.C., the company provides hand-scoring services for essays and exams administered to students, and supports all facets of assessment of students from kindergarten through college, as well as at the professional level.

The company has developed and scored tests in writing, reading, mathematics, science and other subjects, and also helps with assessment of teachers, translators and other education professionals. The firm employs more than 340 staff and thousands of seasonal workers at offices in eight states.

Bunch, who has worked at Measurement, Inc., since 1982, received a bachelor’s degree from UGA in 1972, a master’s in 1974 and a doctorate in psychology in 1976. He has spent most of his career developing tests for statewide assessment programs, including the Georgia High School Graduation Tests and the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Tests.

Bunch is a charter member of the Graduate Education Advancement Board, an organization of alumni and friends that supports graduate education by helping raise money for scholarships and fellowships for graduate students, and assisting the Graduate School dean in such areas as communications, public relations and donor prospects.

Additional information about spring commencement will be announced later, and details of both the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies are available at www.reg.uga.edu/or.nsf/html/commencement.