April 12, 2019

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Governor Brian Kemp to Speak at VSU’s 227th Commencement Ceremony

VALDOSTA — Governor Brian Kemp will deliver the keynote address during Valdosta State University’s Spring 2019 commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, on the Front Lawn.

“We are delighted that the governor of this great state will be joining us as we recognize the outstanding efforts of our spring graduates and celebrate education as the foundation upon which success is built,” said Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU. “As a self-made businessman and public servant, Governor Kemp’s message will inspire and empower our students as they head out into the workforce and navigate life’s ups and downs, while pursuing their personal and professional goals.

“Governor Kemp knows that graduation is a defining moment in every student’s life. He has demonstrated a clear desire to make higher education more attainable for more Georgians and to help every member of our state realize their full potential for a promising future. VSU is proud to join our governor in that life-changing work, as we continually strive to be a catalyst for regional progress in South Georgia.”

Kemp was elected 83rd governor of Georgia on Nov. 6, 2018, earning more votes than any gubernatorial candidate in state history.

A husband, father, businessman, and public servant, Kemp built his first business — Kemp Development and Construction Company — with a pick-up truck and a shovel. Today, more than three decades later, he is a successful entrepreneur with businesses and investments in banking, farming, timber, manufacturing, and real estate. He understands how to successfully create jobs, grow companies, recruit start-ups, and make deals on the international stage, while also providing opportunities for hundreds of hard-working Georgians. 

Kemp was instrumental in fighting to cut fees, taxes, and mandates on job creators and Georgia families during his Georgia Senate days. He utilized technology and innovation to cut bureaucratic red tape, slash spending, and streamline government in his role as secretary of state. 

Now, as governor, Kemp turns his attention to fighting to make Georgia No. 1 for small business through regulatory reform. He plans to work to ensure that all parts of Georgia, including the rural areas, have opportunities to grow and thrive. He also plans to fundamentally reform state government, keep Georgia families safe, and always put hard-working Georgians first. 

Kemp is married to the former Marty Argo of Athens. They are the proud parents of three daughters — Jarrett, Lucy, and Amy Porter.

More than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students will be recognized during Valdosta State University’s 227th commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11.

The schedule of events is as follows:

College of Nursing and Health Sciences Recognition Ceremony

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences Recognition Ceremony will be held at noon on Friday, May 10, in Whitehead Auditorium. Dr. Sheri Noviello, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, will lead the festivities, recognizing all the candidates for the Associate of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training, Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Master of Science in Nursing. The nursing students will be pinned, and the master’s level students will be hooded.

Graduate School Commencement Ceremony

The Graduate School Commencement Ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 10, in the P.E. Complex. The doors will open at 3 p.m. Graduates will line up at 3:30 p.m. on the second floor of the P.E. Complex.

Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Commissioning Ceremony

The Air Force ROTC Detachment 172 will conduct a commissioning ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, in the Student Union Ballroom.

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

The Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, on the Front Lawn. Graduates will line up at 5:30 p.m. at Nevins Hall and the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center. President’s Award for Academic Excellence recipients, honor graduates, and commissioned Air Force ROTC cadets will be recognized, and every graduate in attendance will have his or her name called as they walk across the platform area in front of their fellow graduates, their faculty, and their family and friends. The celebration will end with a full fireworks display. Transportation will be provided from the university parking lots. Students will be able to bring as many family and friends as they desire. Accessible parking and seating will be available. Guests unable to attend my view the ceremony live at www.valdosta.edu/commencement

Please visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/advancement/event-services/commencement/ for a complete who, what, where, when guide to VSU’s 227th commencement ceremonies, including directions on where to park.