University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley will deliver the fall undergraduate Commencement address at the University of Georgia on Dec. 15 in Stegeman Coliseum. The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the graduate ceremony to follow at 2:30 p.m.
Dr. Lisa K. Nolan, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, will deliver the Commencement address at the graduate ceremony.
“There are few-if any-who have done more to elevate public higher education in this state than Chancellor Wrigley,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “It will be a great honor to welcome him back to campus for Commencement, and I know our graduating seniors will benefit tremendously from his remarks.”
Samuel Peraza, who will receive his bachelor’s degree in public relations from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, is the student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. In addition, the university will give two posthumous degrees to Virginia Katelyn Chandler, a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology and genetics, and Bridget Ariel Thompson, a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.
For the undergraduate ceremony, Commencement candidates are allowed six tickets per student. Tickets are not required for the graduate exercise.
As the 13th chancellor of the USG, Wrigley oversees 28 public colleges and universities with an $8.8 billion annual budget, more than 48,000 faculty and staff, and 320,000 students. The Georgia Public Library System and the Georgia Archives also are part of the university system. He currently serves on the Alliance of Education Agency Heads and is a member of the board of the Georgia Wildlife Federation. In the past, he served on the boards of the Nature Conservancy of Georgia and the Georgia Humanities Council.
Prior to becoming chancellor, Wrigley served as executive vice chancellor of administration for the USG from June 2011 until his appointment as chancellor. As executive vice chancellor of administration, Wrigley oversaw the day-to-day operations of the system’s budget, facilities, information technology services, human resources, legal affairs and strategic planning units.
Wrigley formerly served as senior vice president for external affairs, as well as vice president for government relations, at the University of Georgia. He also served as director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Prior to his work in the university system, Wrigley worked in state government in Georgia, including five years as chief of staff to former Gov. Zell Miller.
During his career, Wrigley has worked on a number of key issues, including the creation of the state lottery and the HOPE Scholarship, along with campus consolidations within the USG.
Wrigley earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia State University and his doctorate in history from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He and his wife, Lynne, have two children and reside in Clarke County.
“We also are looking forward to hearing from Dean Nolan,” said Morehead. “As a brilliant scientist with three postgraduate degrees from this university and a distinguished record of research, she is the perfect person to inspire our graduate students as they prepare for the next stage in their lives.”
Nolan was professor and Dr. Stephen G. Juelsgaard Dean of the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine prior to her appointment at UGA in July 2017.
Previously, Nolan was founding director of the Great Plains Institute of Food Safety at North Dakota State University and chair of the department of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine at Iowa State. Her additional administrative experience includes service as associate dean of academic and student affairs, and associate dean of research and graduate studies.
Her research focuses on bacterial diseases that impact animal health, human health and food safety. She is the author or co-author of nearly 130 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and her research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, as well as private foundations. Her patents include a vaccine and a biomarker to assess avian Escherichia coli virulence.
Nolan has received several honors over the course of her career, including being named a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and an honorary diplomate of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society. She has received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Blue Key National Honor Society, the Philbro Animal Health Excellence in Poultry Research Award and the Academic Alumnus of the Year Award from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, among other honors.
Nolan earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UGA as wells as also earned as her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in medical microbiology from UGA from UGA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Valdosta State College, now Valdosta State University.
In the interest of public safety, the 2017 fall Commencement ceremonies will follow the Southeastern Conference Clear Bag Policy.