LSU Recognizes 1,950 Graduates at December Commencement, LSU’s Largest Fall Graduating Class Ever

Johnnie Jones

Johnnie Jones, 83-year-old veteran, received his Ph.D. in human ecology and became the eldest student to receive a graduate degree in the fall semester and the eldest African American to ever receive a degree from LSU.Photo: Eddy Perez, LSU

12/14/2018
BATON ROUGE – LSU recognized 1,950 graduates at the university’s 297th commencement exercises on Friday, Dec. 14.

The 1,950 degrees awarded is a new record for LSU’s fall graduation. In addition, the university awarded the most degrees to Asian and Hispanic students ever during a fall semester and awarded the second most degrees to African-American students during any fall commencement.

The 1,950 graduates included 1,386 bachelor’s degrees; 477 master’s and professional degrees or certificates; and 87 doctoral degrees. The graduates represented 51 Louisiana parishes, 45 states and 42 foreign countries. Among the graduates were 19 LSU employees who received degrees.

The youngest graduate was 20, while the oldest was 83-year-old veteran Johnnie Jones, who in receiving his Ph.D. became the eldest student to receive a graduate degree in the fall semester and the eldest African American to ever receive a degree from LSU.

There is no main ceremony for December commencement, so each college held separate ceremonies to recognize their own individual students. For a list of graduates, please visit LSU’s commencement website, http://www.lsu.edu/commencement. The list includes December 2018 graduates who have authorized the release of their names.

With each college holding its own ceremony for fall commencement, the following had keynote speakers, including:

  • Manship School of Mass Communication:  Chelsea Brasted, Manship School alumna and NOLA.com/Times-Picayune metro columnist;
  • College of Science:  LSU Boyd Professor Mark Batzer, Dr. Mary Lou Applewhite Distinguished Professor in biological sciences;
  • College of Engineering:  Clay Parker, a graduating senior in civil engineering with a minor in business administration, Parker, an Independence, La., native, plans to attend law school at LSU.
Fall Commencement

LSU awarded a record 1,950 degrees during fall commencement.

Photo: Eddy Perez, LSU

There were 158 honor graduates recognized during the ceremonies for having high GPAs and received magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude honors. Also included among the honor graduates were 48 University Medal recipients who graduated with the highest-grade point averages in the class.

The LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College graduated seven students who earned College Honors: Spencer Blum, a Shreveport, La., native graduating in chemical engineering; Emile Jeunesse, a Kenner, La., native graduating in kinesiology; Matthew Koshak, a Mandeville, La., native graduating in philosophy; Grant Landwehr, a Covington, La., native graduating in chemical engineering; Emily Nall, an Opelousas, La., native graduating in biological sciences; Jimmy Saravia, a Baton Rouge native graduating in biological sciences; and Michael Stein, a Baton Rouge native graduating in history.

Three students earned Upper Division Honors Distinction from the Ogden Honors College: Hassan Al Dawood, a Safwa, Saudi Arabia, native graduating in petroleum engineering, Riad Elkhanoufi, a New Iberia, La., native graduating in chemical engineering; and Taylor Oliver, a Shreveport, La., native graduating in mass communication. These students participated in a specific honors program and successfully completed and defended an undergraduate thesis.

This semester, seven graduates were awarded the LSU Distinguished Communicator Award. These students earned this honor by meeting high standards set by faculty in various colleges and by the LSU Communication across the Curriculum program. The students earned high grade-point averages in communication-intensive courses – based on written, spoken, visual and technological communication – and have built digital portfolios, displayed as public websites, that include their communication projects from courses, internships, leadership roles and public service.

Two LSU graduates were recognized during LSU’s fall commissioning ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 13, in the Hill Memorial Library. Lukas K. Dretzka of Baton Rouge was commissioned from the Army ROTC program, and Nikolaus James Bihlmeyer of Baton Rouge was commissioned from the LSU Air Force ROTC program. In addition, one graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette that took part in LSU’s Army ROTC program was commissioned.

The LSU Athletics Department and the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes recognized 22 graduating student athletes at The Tribute on Dec. 13 at the South Stadium Club inside Tiger Stadium. The event is the annual commemoration of the achievements of student-athletes both on and off the field. 

For more information on LSU commencement, visit www.lsu.edu/commencement.

Media Note:
For a list of graduates listed by hometown, please visit https://www.lsu.edu/commencement/lists/graduates/2018-12.php. For a list of graduates with honors listed by hometown, visit https://www.lsu.edu/commencement/lists/honor-graduates/2018-12.php. These lists include December 2018 graduates who have authorized the release of their names.

 

 

Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations
225-578-5685
eballa1@lsu.edu