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UGA to award degrees to about 5,170 at Commencement ceremonies May 8

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will confer degrees on about 5,170 undergraduate and graduate students at spring Commencement ceremonies May 8.

An estimated 4,000 undergraduates will be eligible to receive bachelor’s degrees at the undergraduate ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in Sanford Stadium. If weather conditions are deemed severe, the ceremony will be moved to Sunday, May 9, at 1:30 p.m.

Severe weather is defined as rain accompanied by high winds, thunder and lightning. If rain is falling but conditions are not considered severe, candidates will be given a poncho to wear during the ceremony. There will not be a student processional, and candidates will go directly to their school’s or college’s designated seating section on the field.

A decision to move to the ceremony to May 9 will be made by 10 a.m. on May 8 and will be posted on the UGA home page,, by 11 a.m. Local radio stations will be notified of the change but may not be able to broadcast the information because their weekend operations are computerized.

Alton Brown, who writes, produces, directs and stars in Good Eats, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony. In addition to being the first Peabody Award-winning host for the Food Network, Brown has written several books, including I’m Just Here for the Food, which won the 2003 James Beard Foundation Award for best cookbook in the reference category.

The student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony will be Sarah Christian Haynes of Roswell, who will receive bachelor of arts degrees in political science, international affairs and history. Haynes served as the president of the Student Alumni Council and External Affairs committee chair for the Student Government Association. A member of the Sigma Alpha Lambda, Phi Alpha Theta and Golden Key Honor societies, Haynes served as a G-Book project co-coordinator and executive director of the College Republicans. She currently serves as deputy political director for Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Fifteen seniors who have maintained perfect 4.0 grade point averages will be recognized as First Honor Graduates.

Students are required to enter through gate 10 and guests are encouraged to enter through gate 6. Only gate 6 and the Will Call Window Lobby, both located on East Campus Road, are wheelchair accessible. Complete details about both the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies are available at

The undergraduate ceremony will be broadcast in the Tate Student Center Theater and on televisions in the student center. It also will be broadcast on Charter cable channel 15 and will be streamed live on the Internet from the UGA home page.

About 1,170 candidates for master’s, doctoral and specialist in education degrees will be eligible to participate in the ceremony for graduate students at 10 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum.

The speaker for the ceremony for graduate students will be Thomas Lauth, dean of the university’s School of Public and International Affairs. Lauth has been dean of the school 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.

There are a number of related activities being hosted by UGA’s colleges and schools. The following events are listed in chronological order.

Lamar Dodd School of Art Graduation Convocation Ceremony
Date: Thursday, May 6
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center
Speaker: Fay Gold
Contact: Alan Flurry, 706/542-3331,

Grady College Convocation and Alumni Awards Ceremony
Date: Friday, May 7
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Location: Athens Classic Center
Speaker: W.H. “Dink” NeSmith Jr., winner of the John Holliman Jr. Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement, will be the keynote speaker.
Contact: Diane Miller, 706/542-2526,

College of Education Spring Convocation
Date: Friday, May 7
Time: 1 and 4 p.m. (Two convocation ceremonies will be divided by department. See for more details.)
Location: Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center
Speaker: Jeremy Kilpatrick, UGA Regents Professor of Mathematics Education
Contact: Beth Giddens, 706/542-2126,

UGA College of Public Health Graduation Convocation Celebration
Date: Friday, May 7
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Grand Hall Ballroom, Tate Student Center
Speaker: Alpha Bryan, District Health Director for Clayton County
Student speakers: Stephen Dorner (bachelor’s of environmental health) and Jessie Barnett (master’s of public health)
Contact:Heather McEachern, 706/542-3187,

College of Environment and Design Graduation Convocation Dinner 2010
Date: Friday, May 7
Time:5:30 p.m.
Location: 300 Fine Arts Theatre, followed by a light dinner in the Founders Memorial Garden
Contact: Audra Lofton, 706/542-4724,

Hugh Hodgson School of Music Convocation and Awards Ceremony
Date: Friday, May 7
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center
Speaker: Charles Wadsworth
Contact: Frances Berry, 706/542-2701,

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Recognition Ceremony
Date: Saturday, May 8
Time: 1 p.m. (Students should arrive at 12:30 p.m. to check in and form the processional).
Location: Performing Arts Center, Hodgson Concert Hall
Contact: CAES Office of Academic Affairs, 706/542-1611,

Odum School of Ecology Reception
Date: Saturday, May 8
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Location: Odum School of Ecology
Speaker: Odum School Dean John Gittleman
Contact: Misha Boyd, 706/542-0800,; Patsy Pittman, 706/542-3404,

School of Social Work Reception and Graduation Convocation Ceremony
Date: Saturday, May 8
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Location: Tucker Hall (reception) and Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center (ceremony)
Speaker: Marjorie Bush, president and CEO of St. Jude’s Recovery Center
Contact: Laura Ciucevich, 706/542-5450,

School of Public and International Affairs Undergraduate Convocation
Date: Saturday, May 8
Time: 2 p.m.
Location:Ramsey Center, Volleyball Arena
Speaker:Georgia State Sen. Bill Cowsert
Contact: Paul Welch or Brenda Smith, 706/542-0096,

College of Family and Consumer Sciences Convocation
Date: Saturday, May 8
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Place: Classic City Civic Center
Speaker: FACS Dean Laura Jolly
Contact: Denise Horton, 706/542-8014,

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources Graduation Convocation Ceremony
Date: Saturday, May 8
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Warnell Auditorium, Building 2
Speaker: Warnell Professor Steven Castleberry and Warnell alumnus Mark Whitney
Contact: Emily Saunders, 706/542-1465,

Pre-Graduation Reception for the School of Law Class of 2010
Date:Friday, May 14
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Grand Hall, Tate Student Center
Contact: Jill Coveny Birch, 706/542-7959,
Preregistration required

School of Law Class of 2010 Commencement
Date: Saturday, May 15
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: North Campus Quadrangle (rain location is Stegeman Coliseum)
Speaker: Former Acting Solicitor General of the United States Walter Dellinger
Contact: Jill Coveny Birch, 706/542-7959,