Office of the President
Georgia Southern University

May 2013

Georgia Southern Hosts Spring Commencement


This past weekend, more than 3,000 students received their degrees from Georgia Southern in two ceremonies during our 85th annual spring commencement. A crowd of more than 20,000 filled Allen E. Paulson Stadium Saturday as nearly 2,500 students received their undergraduate degrees. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Luis Aguilar (’76) served as the commencement speaker, and the University presented him with an honorary Doctor of Public Service for his decades of service that has improved the lives of Hispanic children and families nationwide. During the graduate ceremony in Hanner Fieldhouse on Friday, more than 650 graduates received master’s and doctoral degrees. The graduates were addressed by Dr. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist, and internationally recognized leader in the world of science. The graduate ceremony also included a historical moment for the University: Stephanie Thomas was Georgia Southern’s first student to receive a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the Logistics/Supply Chain Management program in the College of Business Administration. Congratulations to our graduates!

Alumni Association Awards Banquet


We are grateful for the continued support of our alumni, and the University recently recognized 10 individuals for their outstanding career accomplishments and support of their alma mater.

The winners of the 2013 Alumni Association Awards are listed below:

  • Alumnus of the Year: Chris Riley, (‘92), chief of staff, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Atlanta
  • Alumna of the Year in Private Enterprise: Caroline Harless, (‘77), president and CEO, Peachtree Capital Corp., Atlanta, and co-owner of Flat Creek Lodge, Swainsboro
  • Department of Biology Alumnus of the Year: Jimmy Wedincamp, Ph.D., (‘92 & ‘94), chairman of the biology department at East Georgia State College, Swainsboro
  • College of Business Administration Alumnus of the Year: Billy Hickman, (‘74), partner at Dabbs, Hickman, Hill and Cannon, LLP, Statesboro
  • College of Health and Human Sciences Alumnus of the Year: J.E. Rowe, (‘62), former head basketball coach, Georgia Southern
  • College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year: Meg Heap, (‘86), Chatham County District Attorney, Savannah
  • College of Education Alumnus of the Year: Martha Cain, Ph.D., (‘50), retired chemistry professor, Georgia Southern
  • Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology Alumnus of the Year:James Suchovsky, (‘92 & ‘02), plant manager, Briggs and Stratton, Statesboro
  • College of Science and Mathematics Alumnus of the Year: Ronny Just, (‘84), external issues coordinator for governmental and regulatory affairs, Georgia Power, Atlanta
  • Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Alumnus of the Year: Kelley Chester, Ph.D., (‘93, ‘07 & ‘10) research scientist, RTI International, Atlanta

Community Service Honor Roll

HonorRollGeorgia Southern’s commitment and dedication to public service from its students, faculty and staff has led to the University being named in the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

During the 2011-2012 academic year, more than 3,900 students engaged in nearly 369,000 hours (more than 15,000 days) of community service. Some of these projects included students working with non-profit agencies in the community to coordinate volunteers and special events; “The Empty Bowl” project, which raised money for the Statesboro Food Bank; and the annual alternative Spring Break trip to the Bahamas which involved students performing building renovations at the Freeport YMCA and distributing meals through the Bahamas Red Cross.

Georgia Southern Named Environmentally Friendly “Green College”

GreenFor the third year in a row, Georgia Southern was named one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible “green colleges” by The Princeton Review and the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. Georgia Southern was one of 320 schools in the nation recognized for our commitment to sustainability through academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

The University’s Center for Sustainability recently hosted “No Impact Week” with more than 25 events engaging the campus through themes such as consumption, trash, food, transportation, water, energy and giving back. The highlights of the week included a presentation from New York Times  best-selling author and Green For All founder Van Jones, as well as a panel discussion on the future of energy needs with Congressman John Barrow and leaders of utility companies and environmental groups.

Georgia Southern Designs Historical Markers App for Smartphones

HistoricalMarkerApp_smallGeorgia Southern has just launched a new Georgia Historical Markers smartphone application that gives users the ability to easily locate and explore Georgia’s more than 2,500 historical markers based on location, marker text or both. Georgia Southern partnered with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in the development of this application. This is the most comprehensive application of its kind for the state of Georgia and is available for Android, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and iPod Touch devices. To locate the app, search “Georgia Historical Markers” on your smartphone’s app store and look for the Georgia Peach logo.

Online Programs Ranked Among Nation’s Best

onlineGeorgia Southern has once again been recognized byU.S. News & World Report for giving students flexible and quality online options to earn their college degrees. Four programs have been ranked on the list of “2014 Best Online Programs:” graduate computer information technology (#15), graduate education (#21), graduate business (#34) and bachelor’s (#105).U.S. News and World Report evaluated nearly 860 online programs at colleges and universities across the country, and only degree-granting programs offering courses that are 100 percent online were considered for the rankings.


May 17: Eagle Fund Coaches Tour 6:30 p.m., Bishop Field House, Paulson Stadium

May 20: Summer School Begins

For additional information about other events taking place this month, please check the below calendars:


Last updated: 2/26/2014

Office of the President • PO Box 8033 Statesboro, GA 30460 • 912-478-5211