Wednesday, May 6, 2009

UGA to award degrees to about 4,850 at commencement ceremonies May 9

The University of Georgia will confer degrees on about 4,850 undergraduate and graduate students at spring commencement ceremonies May 9.

An estimated 3,700 undergraduates will be eligible to receive bachelor’s degrees at the undergraduate ceremony at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will be held in Sanford Stadium unless weather conditions are deemed to be severe, in which case the ceremony will be held in Stegeman Coliseum in two sessions, beginning at 9:30 and 11:30 a.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 Stegeman Coliseum will be made by 6:30 a.m. and will be posted on the UGA home page, http://www.uga.edu/, by 7 a.m. Local radio stations will be notified of the move but may not be able to broadcast the information because their weekend operations are computerized.

About 1,155 candidates for master’s, doctoral and specialist in education degrees will be eligible to participate in the ceremony for graduate students at 2:30 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah will speak at the undergraduate ceremony. Kingston, who received an economics degree from UGA in 1978, is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and has been a strong ally for UGA in obtaining grants and appropriations from federal agencies for research in agriculture and science and for construction of major facilities.

Mary Virginia Terry of Jacksonville, Fla., will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony. Terry and her late husband, Herman, have been major supporters of UGA for 55 years and are namesakes of the Terry College of Business. Mrs. Terry is an emeritus trustee of the Arch Foundation of the University of Georgia.

The student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony will be Mary Catherine McLean of Moultrie, who will receive a degree in history. A HOPE Scholar and Dean’s List student, McLean has studied at Oxford University in England and was on the Student Government Association executive board. She was president of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society and was a Leadership UGA Fellow.

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

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

The speaker for the ceremony for graduate students will be Stan Collender, a partner at Qorvis Communications. Collender has a 30-year background in financial and public affairs communications and is an expert on federal fiscal and monetary policies. He writes a column on fiscal matters for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call and is founder of “Capital Gains and Games,” a popular financial and political blog.

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