The meeting of the Commencement Committee was held on Tuesday, July 17 at 11:00 a.m. Members present were: President Patton, Elizabeth Firestone, Charles Gilbreath, Ralph LaRossa, Catherine McGovern, Ed Miles, Larry Rifkind, and Sue Seago.
Erin Erskine, the new Director of University Ceremonies and Special Events, was introduced to the committee by Dr. Patton. She will be involved with this committee in her efforts to help the university present itself in the best possible light with events throughout the year.
The speakers for the August commencement ceremony are Russ Toal, head of the Governor's Cancer Coalition (1:00 p.m.) and Jim Martin, head of the Department of Human Resources for the State of Georgia (5:00 p.m.). Dr. Patton said that the speakers for December 17th will be Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, Director of CDC and Bonnie Phipps who is an alum and head of Promina Healthcare Systems, Inc. Please continue to make suggestions for future speakers. Preferably, most speakers will have some connection to Georgia State.
It was reported that 1,412 graduates walked in May. The effort to have more volunteers present to help in the Athletic Arena was successful. Dr. Patton will talk with Ron Henry about requesting volunteers again from the various colleges. The August ceremony will be smaller than some, with approximately 1,020 graduates attending. There should be plenty of seats for guests in August, but we will continue to issue 4 tickets per student. The university police has suggested putting barricades on Decatur Street as a safety measure to help direct the crowd to the crosswalks. There will continue to be a nurse on duty for the ceremonies. The requests for special recognition during the ceremony by some programs will continue to be turned down since the time can't be taken for all making these requests. The professional photographs take of graduates were discussed. The contract calls for 2 photos of each graduate. John Haberlen will be contacted about the musicians who play for the ceremony since they were not as good this past time as they usually are. There were no new names suggested for honorary degrees. Dr. Patton will send out the announcement soon asking for nominations. The colors on the academic hoods were discussed. University colors are red and blue, yet the hoods have always been silver (gray) and red. This needs to be changed officially. Fabric camples will be requested in order to get as close as possible to the offical colors.
Frances B. Stone