Campus News

UGA Commencement set for May 4

More than 5,800 students eligible for graduation

The University of Georgia will welcome its newest alumni on May 4 as 4,576 undergraduates and 1,258 graduate students—for a total of 5,834—have met requirements to walk in the university’s spring Commencement ceremonies.

UGA alumni Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of multi-platinum trio Lady Antebellum will deliver the spring undergraduate Commencement address May 4 at 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium.

The undergraduate ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium, and UGA alumni Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of multiplatinum trio Lady Antebellum will give the address

Georgia natives Kelley and Haywood of the seven-time Grammy Award-winning trio have launched their latest single “Heart Break,” serving as the title track from their No. 1 sixth studio album, “Heart Break.” Their current release follows more than 18 million units, nine No. 1 hits, ACM and CMA “Vocal Group of the Year” trophies three years in a row and other honors including seven Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards. Lady Antebellum founded LadyAID—an organization dedicated to helping children worldwide—and have participated in numerous fundraisers, charity concerts and other philanthropic events.

Along with his success as part of Lady Antebellum, Kelley also earned a Grammy nomination for “Best Country Duo/Group Performance” for the title track of his solo record “The Driver,” and has penned No. 1 hits recorded by artists including Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker. In addition to multi-instrumentalist and producer Haywood co-writing four chart-topping Lady Antebellum hits, including the six-times platinum hit “Need You Now,” Haywood also has written for artists such as Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan. The multiplatinum trio will team with Darius Rucker this summer for their co-headlining Summer Plays On Tour, which kicks off July 19.

Hunter Smith is passionate about “increasing access and opportunity in higher education especially for students from single-parent homes and rural backgrounds.” (Photo by Chad Osburn/UGA)

The student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony will be Hunter Glenn Smith, who will receive his bachelor’s degree in political science.

Forty-one students will be recognized as spring First Honor Graduates during the undergraduate exercises for maintaining a 4.0 cumulative GPA in all work attempted at UGA as well as all college-level transfer work prior to or following enrollment at the university. Two students will be recognized as summer First Honor Graduates.

Denise Spangler

An estimated 265 doctoral candidates and 993 master’s and specialist degree students will be eligible to walk in the graduate ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum. Denise Spangler, dean of UGA’s College of Education, will address the graduates and guests.

Spangler holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in mathematics, both from Illinois State University. She earned her doctoral degree in mathematics education at UGA.

An award-winning instructor, Spangler is a member of the UGA Teaching Academy and is a recipient of the Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The majority of her career has involved helping elementary education majors learn to teach mathematics to children in ways that build on the numerical and spatial thinking that they develop from interacting with the world. She also has taught several graduate courses on mathematics teaching and teacher education. She has graduated more than 30 doctoral students during her time at UGA.

Spangler’s research is tightly integrated with her teaching. She seeks to understand how novice teachers put into practice what they have learned from their teacher education programs, their experiences in schools and their own experiences as students—and how they balance these sometimes competing influences. The author of approximately 100 publications, including journal articles, book chapters and books, she has received continuous funding for her work since joining the UGA faculty in 1995.

The clear bag policy will be in effect for both ceremonies.

Because Commencement falls on a Friday, a routine UGA workday, parking patterns on South Campus near the coliseum will be adjusted.

For the graduate ceremony, free parking for Commencement guests and graduates is available in the South Deck (S11), Carlton Deck (S15) and lot S14. Disability parking is available in lot S12. Lots S10 and S16 are reserved for designated participants by permit only. Free parking is available in all other lots and decks on the UGA campus.

For the undergraduate ceremony, disability parking is available at the East Deck and North Deck. An ADA accessible shuttle will be available from those areas to the stadium. The Tate Deck and lot E12 are reserved for designated participants by permit only. All other parking on campus will be free on a first-come, first-served basis.

The ceremony will be streamed live online.