Commencement 2017

 Thousands of college and university graduates in metro Atlanta will walk across multiple stages to receive degrees during May.

They will listen to speakers ranging from Oprah to a former poet laureate and Van Jones, the CNN political correspondent.

Commuters should be aware of the effects of robe-clad graduates and proud family members on local traffic.

Emory University

Natasha Trethewey , a, Emory staff member who won a Pulitzer-Prize and served as the 19th poet laureate of the United States, will be the keynote speaker for Emory University’s 172nd commencement ceremony Monday, May 8.  

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Trethewey is leaving Emory after 15 years.

The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Monday and will be held on the school quadrangle. 

Emory is recommending that guests be aware of the effect on traffic caused by the shutdown of I-85 because of the loss of the bridge. The school is recommending guests plan to arrive by 7 a.m.

If case severe weather disrupts the main ceremonty, the school will break graduates up by area of study and send them to various enclosed parts of the campus for individual graduations. Find the information on the website.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University will kick off college graduation events in downtown Atlanta and Clarkston with multiple ceremonies next week because of the closing of the Georgia Dome.

The ceremonies will be held in shifts in McCamish Pavilion at Georgia Tech and on the Clarkston campus.   

Monday, May 8, there will be two ceremonies for those earning bachelor’s degrees at McCamish Pavilion at Georgia Tech, 965 Fowler Street.

 At 10 a.m. graduates from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, and College of Education and Human Development will walk across the stage at McCamish Pavilion.

At 4 p.m. those earning degrees from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business will receive their degrees.

On Tuesday, May 9,  there will be two more ceremonies for those earning bachelor’s degrees at McCamish Pavilion.

At 10 a.m. College of Arts and Sciences, Students whose last names begin with A – L.

Then at 4 p.m. students whose last names begin M – Z will be handed their degrees.

On Thursday, May 11, there will be three ceremonies on the Clarkston Campus in the gymnasium, 555 N. Indian Creek Drive, for graduates earning associate degrees at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.


Kennesaw State University

More than 3,200 Owls are about to leave the nest.  

Kennesaw State University will graduate students over five ceremonies in the KSU Convocation Center at 590 Cobb Ave. in Kennesaw between Tuesday and Wednesday.  

Students, family and friends will hear from speakers such as Michael J. Coles, who co-founded the Great American Cookie Company and is CEO of Caribou Coffee Company, or Lt. Gen. Stayce D. Harris, the highest ranking female African-American Air Force general.  

Tuesday, May 9, at 10 a.m.  those earning bachelor’s degrees from the Coles College of Business; School of Communication and Media will walk the boards.

Also on Tuesday at  3 p.m., the College Architecture and Construction Management; College of Computing and Software Engineering; Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology; College of Science and Mathematics graduates will receive degrees.

On May 10 at 10 a.m. degrees from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will be conferred.

Later that day at 2 p.m.  graduates from the College of the Arts; Bagwell College of Education; WellStar College of Health and Human Services, and the University College will receive their degrees.

Agnes Scott College

Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul whose Atlanta-filmed HBO movie whose OWN series “Greenleaf” films here, will speak at Agnes Scott College’s 128th graduation ceremony at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 13.

The ceremony will not be open to the public. It is a ticketed event. 

The commencement will be from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the Science Quadrangle, rain or shine. Severe weather could require the ceremony to be moved to protect the safety of graduates and guests. Those planning to attend should monitor the college’s website.

Spelman College

The women of Spelman will get their degrees Sunday, May 21, at 3 p.m., at the Georgia International Convention Center at 2000 Convention Center Concourse in College Park.

The college will give 490 young women starts to their careers or graduate schools in this class of 2017.

Valerie Jarrett, the longest-serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama, will be the speaker. She has had a consequential impact across the American political, civic and business landscape and will share wisdom and perspectives about her leadership roles.

Clark Atlanta University

Successful businessman William Pickard will be the featured speaker at Clark Atlanta University’s commencement Monday, May 22. 

Pickard is the Chairman of the Global Automotive Group, co-managing partner of the MGM Grand Detroit Casino and CEO of Bearwood Management.

The graduation will take place at 8 a.m. at Panther Stadium, 735 Beckwith St. SW on the Clark Atlanta campus.

Including in this year’s class is Ronald McCullough Jr., who graduated from Maynard Jackson High School in Atlanta at 15. He will earn his bachelor’s degree in biology at 19.

McCullough’s brainpower has not gone unnoticed. Post-graduate engineering programs are heavily recruiting him, including N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) and University of Hawaii. McCullough wants to be an astronaut and plans to enroll in biological/agricultural engineering program at A&T. 

Morehouse College

CNN POLITICAL correspondent Van Jones will bring his wisdom to the commencement exercises at Morehouse College Sunday, May 21, at 8 a.m.

The event will take place, rain or shine, on the Century Campus (the yard between Graves Hall and Harkness Hall).

The tradition of having preachers speak will be carried on with father-and-son Morehouse Men, the Rev. Otis J. Moss Jr. class of 1956, who is pastor emeritus of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in  Cleveland; and the Rev. Otis J. Moss III, class of 1992 and the senior pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Chicago.

If weather is severe, such as heavy rain, thunderstorms, or a tornado watch/warning, a delay in the start of the ceremony may be necessary. Should that be the case, instructions will be announced on site to graduates and guests. 

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