College commencement ceremonies are often remembered as much for the keynote speaker as much as the moment students receive their degrees.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the people scheduled to give various commencement addresses next month at various Atlanta-area colleges and universities and at the University of Georgia, the state’s flagship school. Some schools require tickets to attend the ceremonies.
AGNES SCOTT COLLEGE - Emerging artist Jordan Casteel, a graduate of the college’s Class of 2011, will speak and Mallika Balakrishnan will give the student commencement speech. The ceremony is scheduled for Sat., May 11.
ATLANTA METROPOLITAN STATE UNIVERSITY - The school’s president, Gary McGaha, who is retiring at the end of the semester, will be the keynote speaker. The ceremony is scheduled for Fri., May 3 at 10:15 a.m. on campus.
ATLANTA TECHNICAL COLLEGE - Richard Cox, chief operating officer of the city of Atlanta, will speak at its ceremony, scheduled for Sat., May 11, 11 a.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center.
CHATTAHOOCHEE TECHNICAL COLLEGE - Sue Nguyen, 2019 GOAL State finalist, will be the speaker at both ceremonies. The ceremonies are scheduled for May 16, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville.
CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY - Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum will speak at its ceremony, scheduled for Mon., May 20, 8 a.m. on its campus.
CLAYTON STATE UNIVERSITY - Veteran broadcaster Lisa Rayam and Piedmont Henry Hospital Chief Executive Officer Deborah Armstrong will be commencement speakers at its ceremonies. Its graduate ceremony is scheduled for Fri., May 3, 5 p.m. in the Athletics Center. The undergraduate ceremonies are scheduled for Sat., May 4 at 9 a.m. and noon in the same facility.
EMORY UNIVERSITY - Civil rights icon Andrew Young will speak at the ceremony
on Mon., May 13 on campus.
GEORGIA GWINNETT COLLEGE - American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia executive director Andrea Young is the scheduled speaker. The ceremony is set for Thu., May 16, 10 a.m. at the Infinite Energy Center Arena in Duluth.
GEORGIA PIEDMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE - The college’s new president, Tavarez Holston, will be the speaker at its ceremony, scheduled for Sat. May 18, 10 a.m. at Springfield Baptist Church in Conyers.
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY - The school has scheduled commencement ceremonies from Mon., May 6 through Tue., May 14. Georgia State has not scheduled commencement speakers because they call the names of each graduate, a spokeswoman said.
GEORGIA TECH - Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan will speak at the morning ceremony on Sat., May 4, 9 a.m. at McCamish Pavilion. Georgia Lottery President & CEO Gretchen Corbin will speak at the afternoon ceremony, which starts at 3 p.m. at the same location.
GWINNETT TECHNICAL COLLEGE - Damar Lewis, the school’s 2019 Academic Excellence Award Winner, is the speaker. The ceremony is scheduled for Fri., May 10, 11 a.m. at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville.
INTERDENOMINATIONAL THEOLOGICAL CENTER - The Rev. Penny Brown Reynolds, who has also won an Emmy award for her television court show, will be the commencement speaker. The ceremony is scheduled for Sat., May 11, 10 a.m. at Friendship Community Church in Atlanta.
KENNESAW STATE - Keith Schroeder, Founder and CEO of High Road Craft Ice Cream, will speak at the Coles College of Business ceremony on Tue., May 7, 10 a.m. and Jonathan McMurry, Associate Vice President for Research and Professor of Chemistry will speak at the Graduate College ceremony the same day at 7 p.m.
MERCER UNIVERSITY - Famed legal analyst and television host Nancy Grace, who earned her bachelor’s degree at the school, will speak at its ceremony for its Atlanta campus. The ceremony is scheduled for Sat., May 11, 8:30 a.m. on the lawn of the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta.
MOREHOUSE COLLEGE - Billionaire technology investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith will be the keynote speaker at its ceremony. Actress Angela Bassett will receive a honorary degree. The ceremony is scheduled for Sun., May 19, 8 a.m. on its campus.
MOREHOUSE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE - Dr. Patrice Harris, the first African American woman selected to lead the American Medical Association, is the scheduled speaker. The ceremony is set for Sat., May 18, 9 a.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on the Morehouse College campus.
MORRIS BROWN COLLEGE - Atlanta Hawks vice president and team icon Dominique Wilkins will be the speaker. The ceremony is scheduled for May 18, 4 p.m. at Big Bethel AME Church on Auburn Avenue.
OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY - Donald E. Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post, will be the speaker. The ceremony is scheduled for Sat., May 18, 9 a.m. on campus.
SPELMAN COLLEGE - Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will be the keynote speaker. The commencement is scheduled for Sun., May 19, 3 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center.
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA - Loch Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, who is retiring this semester, will give the graduate address on Fri., May 10, 9 a.m. at Stegeman Coliseum on campus. ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts, an alumnus, will give the keynote speech for the undergraduate ceremony, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium. The university announced on April 24 she’s giving $100,000 to create a needs-based scholarship.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA - Former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will be one of three keynote speakers at its ceremonies. The others are Charles N. Davis, dean of the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and Joy Hawkins, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. The ceremonies are scheduled for Fri., May 3 at 6 p.m. and Sat., May 4 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.