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Georgia Southern Spring 2022 Commencement

Monday, May 9, 10 a.m.

Statesboro, Allen E. Paulson Stadium

colleges of Arts and Humanities, Health Professions, and Public Health

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Tuesday, May 10, 10 a.m.

Statesboro, Allen E. Paulson Stadium

colleges of Business, Education, and Science and Mathematics

View Archived Video

Wednesday, May 11, 10 a.m.

Statesboro, Allen E. Paulson Stadium

colleges of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Engineering and Computing

View Archived Video

Friday, May 13, 10 a.m.

Savannah, Savannah Convention Center

colleges of Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, Science and Mathematics, Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Engineering and Computing

View Archived Video

Friday, May 13, 3 p.m.

Savannah, Savannah Convention Center

colleges of Health Professions and Public Health

View Archived Video

All commencement ceremonies are for undergraduate and graduate candidates.

Commencement is a special and significant occasion in your life. Many of your family and friends will come from a long distance to witness this memorable ceremony. Our faculty, staff and administrators have planned the program and arrangements with every consideration to make this an impressive and enjoyable event for all candidates and spectators.

Please follow these decorum guidelines for Commencement:

  • Arrive an hour before the ceremony.
  • Remain quiet and in your seat except when going to the stage or being recognized by your dean and the President. You are not allowed to leave before the ceremony concludes.
  • No smoking.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No balloons.
  • Umbrellas are permitted, please bring a poncho in case of rain.
  • Wear proper graduation attire. Candidates should wear dark, flat shoes and dress attire with graduation gowns.
  • A stole associated with an honor society, a student organization/group represented on campus, or a department of Georgia Southern University may be worn at the commencement ceremony.
  • Cell phone ringers must be turned off during the Commencement ceremony and only text messaging is allowed during the ceremony.
  • No gathering for group photos during the ceremony.
  • No use of selfie sticks or noise makers such as cowbells, horns, megaphones, etc. will be allowed.
  • Do not engage in other disruptive behavior during the ceremony.

Tickets for guests are not required at Paulson Stadium. Graduates will not need tickets. Their cap and gown is their ticket.

All guests, regardless of age and including currently enrolled students, are required to have a ticket for entry to the Savannah Convention Center. There will be no charge for tickets. 

Graduates that reserved guest tickets can print the tickets for their guests or email the tickets through the MarchingOrder system.  If you are emailing the tickets to guests and sending multiple tickets to one email address, we recommend printing each ticket to expedite your entry into the ceremony.

Guests can either present a printed ticket (recommended) or display the ticket on their mobile device to be scanned. Each ticket contains a unique barcode that can only be scanned once. For this reason, it is important to print the entire PDF file to distribute multiple tickets rather than making a copy of the first page.

Graduates will not need tickets. Their cap and gown is their ticket.

Candidates should arrive at Paulson Stadium an hour before the ceremony. Enter through gates 9 and 11 and proceed to the seating area on either side of the Bishop Building, based on your college for undergraduates and degree level for graduate students (masters, specialist, doctorate).

Candidates should arrive at the Convention Center an hour before the ceremony. Enter the Convention Center through the doors near Bryan Square and follow the signs for candidates.

Seating for the Paulson Stadium ceremonies will begin an hour before each ceremony. Please enter at the west end of Paulson Stadium — gates 9 and 11. Please proceed to the seating area on either side of the Bishop Building. Your seating location is determined by your college for undergraduate students and by your degree level for graduate students. Staff members will help direct you to your seat in the seating area.

Seating for the Savannah Convention Center ceremonies will begin an hour before the ceremony. Please enter through the doors near Bryan Square. Your seating location is determined by your college for undergraduate students and by your degree level for graduate students. Staff members will help direct you to your seat in the seating area.

Candidates who need accommodations during the graduation ceremony due to limited mobility should contact the Student Accessibility Resource Center (SARC) by Monday, May 2.

Statesboro Ceremony: 912-478-1566
Savannah Ceremony: 912-344-2572

On the day of the ceremony, they may also speak with a Guest Services representative upon arrival. ADA representatives will assist them with getting to their seat.

Visitors with accessibility concerns are strongly encouraged to arrive early to the ceremony.  A designated handicap parking area is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A state handicap parking permit is required. See map below.

If one or more of your guests require accessible seating, all guests in your party should enter Paulson Stadium through the Media Gate or Gate 13 and sit together in the accessible seating area, which is located along the South Concourse adjacent to sections A and G, and along the North Concourse in sections H through P, sections 101 through 113. See map below. Reservations are not required and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Due to the design of Paulson Stadium, the walkway to the concourse is an inclined distance and all who experience mobility issues are strongly advised to be prepared with mobility devices (i.e. wheelchairs, scooters, walkers) and/or personal assistance. Wheelchairs will not be available at the venue. Please come with a wheelchair if one is needed.  

If you are in a wheelchair or scooter, you need to park at a remote lot and ride the shuttle to the Convention Center.  There will be ADA parking available near the shuttle. Each shuttle can accommodate 2 wheelchairs or 2 scooters. When the shuttle arrives at the Convention Center you will be dropped off at the ADA entrance. You and your commencement party are allowed to enter through the ADA entrance with your tickets.

American Sign Language interpreting is available. Guests who need access and desire close proximity to the ASL interpreter may choose to sit in Section J of Paulson Stadium (Statesboro Campus). In Savannah, the interpreter will be visible on the big screen from all seating areas.

Student Accessibility Resource Center: 912-478-1566

A GradPass will be sent to you through Marching Order. You MUST have the electronic GradPass accessible on your cell phone or a printed copy of the GradPass before entering the stadium seating area. If you do not have the GradPass when you arrive at the stadium, please see a staff member at the Candidate Check In table near the entrance to Paulson stadium. During the ceremony, you will present your GradPass to the scanner in front of the stage so your name can be read as you cross the stage. If you choose to use your cell phone to present your Grad Pass, make sure it is fully charged before you arrive.  You may also want to bring a printed copy of your GradPass in case anything happens to your cell phone.

A GradPass will be sent to you through Marching Order. You MUST have the electronic GradPass accessible on your cell phone or a printed copy of the GradPass before entering the Convention Center seating area. If you do not have the GradPass when you arrive at the ceremony, please see a staff member at the Candidate Check In table near the entrance to the Exhibit Hall. During the ceremony, you will present your GradPass to the scanner in front of the stage so your name can be read as you cross the stage. If you choose to use your cell phone to present your GradPass, make sure it is fully charged before you arrive. You may also want to bring a printed copy of your GradPass in case anything happens to your cell phone.

The commencement ceremonies will be broadcast live on the University’s Facebook page. All ceremonies can also be viewed on this page. During the time of the ceremonies, a link to the live videos will appear at the top of this page. The Facebook Live event will begin approximately 5-15 minutes before the ceremony. Due to technical constraints, some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not permit the use of their systems to transmit such broadcasts. Should you not be able to view the broadcast, please contact your local ISP.

A commencement program listing the names of all candidates will be placed in the candidates’ seats at the ceremony. Commencement programs will be digital for guests.

R. Christopher Rustin, DrPH, MS, REHS

Dr. Chris Rustin’s public health career spans over two decades ranging from working in rural and urban health departments and the State Health Department to a stint in Academia.  Dr. Rustin currently serves in a dual role as the Deputy Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Public Health Administrator for the Chatham County Health Department (CCHD), splitting his time between Atlanta and Savannah.  As the Deputy Commissioner, he assists the Commissioner with oversight of numerous public health programs, 159 County Health Departments, and over 7,000 employees statewide.  As the CCHD Public Health Administrator, he oversees one of the largest Health Departments in the State ensuring local public health services are provided to the community and region.

Dr. Rustin began his career as an intern with the Chatham County Mosquito Control Commission, leading to his first public health position as an Environmental Health Specialist with the Evans County Health Department.  From there he managed and directed Environmental Health programs for Effingham and Chatham County Health Departments.  In 2009, he transferred to DPH headquarters in Atlanta to assume leadership positions in Environmental Health and in 2018 was promoted to the Director of Health Protection overseeing DPH’s largest Division.  He holds adjunct faculty appointments at several universities and taught Environmental Health Science at Georgia Southern Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health.

Dr. Rustin holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Master’s in Safety and Environmental Compliance, and a Doctor of Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health.  He is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist with the Georgia Board of Registered Environmental Health Professionals, a Fellow of the CDC Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute, and the current President of the Georgia Public Health Association.  

Travis Greene

Travis Greene Headshot

Travis Greene is a husband, father, pastor, and an award-winning Gospel Artist. He is married to Dr. Jackie Greene, and together they have three sons, David Jacc, Travis Joshua, and Jonathan Judah Willie. By faith, in 2016, Pastor Travis and Dr. Jackie launched Forward City Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Forward City Church exists to see the un-churched and the over-churched move FORWARD in God. In just five short years, the church has grown a massive online presence, with over 30,000 faithful viewers from all over the world each week. Pastor Travis is very passionate about the local church in Columbia. Before the pandemic, Forward City would serve over 1,000 guests each weekend in a small rented facility. Forward City Church recently purchased their first building, a former Best Buy, and celebrated their Grand Opening on March 27, 2022. 

In addition to sharing the love of Christ through the Word of God as a preacher, Pastor Travis is a GRAMMY® nominated, Dove, Billboard and Stellar award-winning recording artist. He continues his global mission to bring a boundary crossing worship experience to people all over the world with an objective to get people, especially the un-churched, excited! His music and mission work has called him to travel to multiple countries in Africa, as well as Dubai, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean. His latest offering, entitled “Oil & Water” is available on all music streaming platforms. 

Mike Davis

Mike Davis Headshot

Mike Davis is a brand marketer, television producer and media executive in one of America’s leading sports-entertainment industries, NASCAR. Davis is best known for his work with Dale Earnhardt Jr., a 2022 NASCAR Hall-of-Fame inductee, two-time New York Times best-selling author, and one of this generation’s most recognizable and successful athlete brands. Nineteen of Davis’ 21 years in NASCAR have been dedicated to Earnhardt Jr.’s businesses, starting as the racer’s publicist in 2004, becoming his road manager in 2007, and emerging as the managing director for the Dale Jr. Brand in 2016.

Davis is the founder of Dirty Mo Media, an original content company and production studio. Through Dirty Mo Media’s platform he created nationally recognized franchises such as The Dale Jr. Download, a weekly Apple Top-40 sports podcast and NBC Universal simulcast. Davis also was the executive producer and writer for the award-winning Peacock original streaming series “Lost Speedways.”

In 2004 Davis was named by Sports Illustrated as one of “40 Under 40 With the Coolest Job In America.” He orchestrated the publicity efforts of several major news events, including Earnhardt Jr.’s unexpected move from family-owned Dale Earnhardt Inc. to motorsports powerhouse, Hendrick Motorsports, as well as two Daytona 500 victories.  Davis also helped Earnhardt Jr. navigate through concussions in 2016 and eventual retirement in 2017, all of which culminated in Earnhardt Jr.’s writing of the acclaimed book, Racing To The Finish: My Story.

Davis is originally from Birmingham, Alabama but spent most of his early life in Ringgold, Georgia. He is a 2001 graduate of Georgia Southern University. As a student at Georgia Southern he was an award-winning sports editor for The George-Anne newspaper before finishing his student career in the athletic media relations office.

Today Davis resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife of 18 years, Sarah, and their two daughters, Gracie and Lilly.

Shawnte N. Craig

Ms. Shawnte N. Craig Headshot

Shawnte N. Craig serves as a Weapon System Sustainment Analyst for the United States Space Force in the Space Sustainment Division, stationed at the Pentagon, Washington, DC.  Prior to her transition to the Space Force in 2021, Ms. Craig was a civil servant for the United States Air Force for 18 years. She entered civil service as a palace acquire intern and throughout her career has held a cadre of logistics, acquisition, and staff positions supporting our Nation’s Space Defense Programs at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Robins Air Force Base, and the Pentagon.  

As a proud graduate of Armstrong Atlantic State University, Ms. Craig graduated in 2003 with a degree in Health Science.  She also graduated with her M.B.A. in 2006 from Webster University. In addition, Mrs. Craig minored in Spanish and was selected to study abroad at Kulkulcan Language Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico, earning her Spanish II certification.  

As a distinguished athlete, Ms. Craig is a former collegiate basketball player at Armstrong Atlantic State University and a high school stand-out at Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Georgia. She was previously an assistant varsity coach at Bradwell Institute and head junior varsity coach at Bishop Montgomery HS in Torrance, California. Ms. Craig also coached a nationally ranked 11U girls’ basketball team, the Southbay Waves AAU team.

Always exceeding expectations, Ms. Craig was selected as a 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 for Georgia Southern University. She is a published author in Logistics Officer Association Journal: The Exceptional Release (Fall, 2012 edition). She serves as a Board Member for the non-profit, Inspirational Living Foundation, Inc. and has been the recipient of numerous awards for the civil service career to include AFAA Civilian of the Year and AFSPC NAACP Roy Wilkins Award.

Deirdre “Dee” Dixon

Deidre Dee Dixon Headshot

Deirdre “Dee” Dixon became the CEO of the American Red Cross of Georgia on June 1, 2021. She oversees the Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, statewide, by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. More than 10 million people in 159 Georgia counties benefit from the Red Cross programs under Dixon’s leadership. This includes providing lifesaving blood; disaster preparedness, response, and recovery support; training in lifesaving skills; and emergency services for military and international families in one of the 10 largest Red Cross regions in the country.

Dixon joined the Georgia Red Cross as Chief Development Officer in December 2017. During her tenure, Development secured more than 81 million dollars for the Red Cross mission and played a pivotal role in fundraising for local and national disaster relief operations. 

She also made contributions to the organization as the Division Biomed leader for the Blood Saves Lives Initiative in 2019 and led the Diversity Blood Session for the National Fundraising Conference in 2020. In Georgia, Dixon paved the way for a Sickle Cell Disease awareness campaign that developed partnerships and virtual education forums with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, elected officials and faith-based communities.

Prior to joining the Red Cross, Dixon led cross-functional teams of district managers and up to 130 frontline team members at Grainger Industrial Supply as their Senior Director of Account Management Sales. In that role, she helped create successful strategic plans that generated a continued year-over-year growth in profitable revenue for the organization.   

Dixon earned her Master of Business Administration at Kennesaw State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Georgia Southern University. She was raised in Metter, Georgia, and is now a resident of Gwinnett County. 

Dixon and her husband, a recently retired middle school assistant principal, are the proud parents of two, graduate school-aged daughters. She loves mentoring young women, cooking, and karaoke-singing.  Her family teases her that her blood type is “G” for all things Georgia.

Relatives and friends may enter Paulson Stadium through Gates 1, 5, 7, 8, 12 or 13. Guests and candidates will not be allowed to hold or reserve seats for other guests. 

Gates/doors open 1 hour prior to the start of each ceremony. Please note that the ceremonies begin promptly at 10 a.m. with a processional. 

Please note that parking at Paulson Stadium is limited due to a construction project. Carpooling is encouraged, and shuttles are available at three locations around campus to transport guests to the stadium.

Graduates and guests driving to the Savannah Convention Center should be aware that parking is limited at the facility as construction is ongoing for an expansion project.

One major lot next to the convention center is closed. Georgia Southern will have a shuttle running from a remote parking lot on Hutchinson Island*, but visitors should plan to carpool, plan for extra time, or consider parking in downtown Savannah and taking a free ferry across the Savannah River to the convention center.

Each shuttle running from this parking lot has a wheelchair/scooter ramp and is capable of transporting anyone with mobility issues; drop offs will not be allowed in front of the Convention Center. 

Relatives and friends may enter the Convention Center through the entrances facing the riverwalk. Tickets are required for entry. Guests and graduates will not be allowed to hold or reserve seats for other guests. 

Gates/doors open 1 hour prior to the start of each ceremony. Please note that the ceremonies begin promptly at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, with a processional. There is no guest seating allowed during the processional.

*Please note that any cars parked on Hutchinson Island need to be removed immediately after each ceremony. Please do not leave your car on Hutchinson Island and visit downtown Savannah. Additionally, the lot will be locked approximately two hours after the last ceremony.  Any cars remaining in the lot when the gates are locked may be towed.

Concessions will be available for food and drink purchases.

Parking is available at Paulson Stadium and other locations on campus. To minimize traffic congestion, carpooling is encouraged. 

Shuttles will be available on commencement days. The shuttles will begin running one hour before each ceremony and run for one hour after each ceremony. Each parking lot stop is listed below: 

  1. Russell Union/The University Store
  2. Engineering Building/Performing Arts Center
  3. RAC

No shuttles will operate on Thursday, May 13.

You will be able to park free of charge in the large parking lot in the back of the Convention Center. You will be able to enter the Convention Center at the entrances that face the Savannah River. The back entrance near the parking lot will be closed and not available for entry. Carpooling is encouraged.

A professional photographer from GradImages will take a picture of you as you cross the stage. A proof of this picture will be emailed to you at your Georgia Southern email address and mailed to your home address so that you may decide if you wish to purchase these photos.

If you preregister, you can get 20% off of your purchase.

Caps and gowns are required, and only academic attire approved for the ceremony may be worn. The University Honors Medallion as well as stoles—which include, but are not limited to, Honors Society scarves/cords and Sorority/Fraternity scarves—are approved graduation attire. We suggest candidates wear dark flat shoes, dark dresses or dark pants with their graduation gowns.

Tassels

For undergraduate students, tassels should be worn on the right side of the cap hanging over the right eye. At the ceremony, the President will ask you to move your tassel to the left side of the cap during the ceremony. 

For graduate students, tassels should be worn on the left side of the cap hanging over the left eye. The mortarboard of the cap should be parallel to the ground.

Diploma frames and other commemorative items are available at the University Store on the Statesboro Campus. You may also purchase merchandise online at the University Store’s website

Invitations, thank you notes, and certificates can be ordered through Printing and Postal Services, in the Main Dining Commons or on the Printing and Postal Services online webstore.

Diploma frames and other commemorative items are available at the University Store in the Student Union on the Armstrong Campus. You may also purchase merchandise online at the University Store’s website

Invitations, thank you notes, and certificates can be ordered through Printing and Postal Services, corner of Arts and Science Drive or on the Printing and Postal Services online webstore.

Diplomas will be mailed to the graduates at their diploma mailing address or their permanent home address. Please remember to update your diploma address in WINGS to an address that will be valid eight weeks after completing all degree requirements. If there is no diploma address, the diploma will be mailed to the current mailing address. Diplomas should be mailed six to eight weeks after graduation for students who have applied for graduation and completed all requirements.

When applying for employment, transcripts should be used instead of diplomas. Three weeks after graduation, if requirements are complete, graduates may request a transcript with the degree conferred.

Maps

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