As the semester comes to a close, I invite the entire Georgia State community to join me in recognizing and honoring nearly 4,000 graduates who will celebrate the awarding of their respective degrees this Sunday, May 6, at the Bachelor, Masters and Specialist Commencement Ceremony. Our keynote speaker is Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Ms. Escarra is a GSU alumna, and her message is sure to be inspirational. The ceremony is Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Georgia Dome.
We frequently receive compliments on the high quality of our Commencement ceremonies, and other special events to celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students. These kinds of special events will increase in importance and frequency as we go through our Centennial year in 2013. Therefore, I am pleased to inform you that DeAnna Hines is changing her responsibilities to take on the role of Special Assistant to the President for University Ceremonies and Events. DeAnna is the ideal person to ensure that our campus ceremonies and events reflect the spirit and stature of Georgia State University.
To fill our needs in communications I am launching a national search for a Vice President for Communications. This position will be responsible for developing and implementing a communications strategy that will support Georgia State’s continuing rise in distinction. In addition, the Alumni Association, also formerly part of University Relations, is now part of the Office of Development.
In closing, please join me in congratulating Georgia State defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi, who made history this past weekend by becoming the first Panther drafted by the National Football League, having been selected by the Oakland Raiders. I am proud of Christo, and I look forward to many more accomplishments from our talented students and student-athletes.
Thank you for working hard every day to increase the value of a Georgia State University education. I hope you’ll join me Sunday as we celebrate the conclusion of another banner academic year.
Mark P. Becker