LSU Awards 607 Degrees at Summer Commencement, Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed Delivers Keynote
BATON ROUGE – LSU alumna and Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed, Ph.D., delivered the keynote address, and 607 degrees were awarded during LSU’s 296th commencement ceremony on Friday, Aug. 3.
During his welcome remarks, LSU President F. King Alexander, Ph.D., who presided over the ceremony, congratulated the graduates and outlined the demographics of the summer graduating class.
“We are also excited to announce that this is the largest Hispanic summer graduating class in the history of LSU,” Alexander said.
Alexander reminded the graduates that their achievement does not solely belong to themselves, though it is reflective of their hard work, dedication, talent and intellect.
He said, “It also belongs to all the families who have sacrificed so much to see this day arrive. It belongs to citizens of Louisiana, our outstanding LSU faculty and staff, and our over 250,000 LSU alumni and friends around the globe, who believe in your capacity to make society a much more vibrant, intellectually stimulating and sustainable environment.”
Of the 607 graduates at summer commencement, 306 earned bachelor’s degrees, 166 earned master’s degrees, seven received a certificate of education specialist, seven received graduate certificates, 13 received post-baccalaureate certificates and 108 received doctoral degrees.
In the August 2018 graduating class, 38 Louisiana parishes, 35 U.S. states and 35 foreign countries were represented. Women made up 52.22 percent of the graduates, and men made up 47.78 percent. The two oldest graduates were 57, and the three youngest graduates were 20.
Alexander welcomed Reed, a two-time LSU graduate having earned her master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, to deliver the keynote address.
“I am so happy to be home and to be a part of all who have gathered to celebrate the hard work and accomplishment that is recognized in today’s commencement ceremony,” Reed said. “To the LSU summer class of 2018, we are so very proud of all of you.”
Reed said the graduates are Louisiana’s best and brightest and that they are well equipped to write the next great chapter in Louisiana’s history.
“You are well equipped, graduates, to change this world, and we need your talents more than ever,” she said.
As commissioner of higher education, Reed serves as Louisiana’s lead advocate for talent development. She said she is committed to making sure that more people in the state have the opportunity to receive an education from an outstanding institution like LSU.
“We have to continue to push forward to ensure that opportunity it available for more of our citizens,” Reed said. “Each of you will continue to retool and seek new skills as you go about creating new jobs in your entrepreneurship and new knowledge through your research.”
Reed said that leading and learning will be the order of the day for the graduates.
“As you walk across this stage and look toward tomorrow, I ask you to simply consider, ‘What is the it that will define your life and your career?’” Reed asked.
Reed challenged the graduates to help solve some of the world’s and Louisiana’s toughest problems.
“The baton now passes to you, graduates. Become an education champion in this state and for this institution so that the door is open for future Tigers,” she said.
Reed closed with familiar words from the LSU alma mater, “Always remember, ‘Our worth in life will be thy worth, we pray to keep it true, and may thy spirit life in us, Forever LSU! Geuax get ‘em Tigers!”
During summer commencement 18 students graduated with honors, including five students who received a University Medal for graduating with the highest undergraduate grade-point average in the class.
The University Medalists included Laurel Alexis Copes, a native of Monroe, La., who graduated from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences; Samantha Claire Knotts, a native of Baton Rouge, La., who graduated from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences; Rebecca Knapp, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., who graduated from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences; Mariah Rai Rogers, a native of Monroe, La., who graduated from the College of Science; and Jansen McKenzie Fink, a native of Greer, S.C., who graduated from the College of Music & Dramatic Arts.
Among the university’s 607 graduates were nine LSU faculty and staff members. Of the nine employees who graduated, one received a bachelor’s degree, one received a graduate certificate, four earned master’s degrees and four earned doctoral degrees.
Mandi Lopez, LSU Faculty Senate vice president, served as mace bearer, and LSU Board of Supervisors member Remy Voisin Starns conferred degrees. The “Star-Spangled Banner” and LSU alma mater were performed by Charles Moore, Doctor of Musical Arts in the College of Music & Dramatic Arts, and the processional and recessional music were performed by the LSU School of Music Brass Quintet. LSU Alumni Association President and CEO Cliff Vannoy also provided the alumni welcome.
A complete list of graduates and honor graduates, who authorized the release of their names, is available online at LSU’s commencement website, www.lsu.edu/commencement, or directly at https://www.lsu.edu/commencement/lists/graduates/2018-08.php for the graduates and at https://www.lsu.edu/commencement/lists/honor-graduates/2018-08.php for the honor graduates.
Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations