May 08, 2012
From staff reports
This weekend, Georgia Southern University again will divide its spring commencement into two ceremonies: the first for graduate students on Friday, May 11, and the second for undergraduate students on Saturday, May 12.
Georgia Senator Tommie Williams and Major General Jim Butterworth, Adjutant General, Georgia National Guard, have been chosen as this year’s commencement speakers. Williams will serve as speaker at Friday’s graduate ceremony, scheduled for 1 p.m. at Hanner Fieldhouse, and Butterworth will speak on Saturday at the undergraduate ceremony, scheduled for 9 a.m. at Allen E. Paulson Stadium.
“Georgia Southern University is privileged to have these two influential leaders in our state address our graduates,” said GSU President Brooks Keel. “Their message of leadership and service to others will inspire and challenge our graduates as they leave Georgia Southern and begin the next phase of their lives.”
Williams is Georgia’s Senate Pro Tempore who represents Appling, Jeff Davis, Long, Montgomery, Toombs, Wayne and Wheeler counties, as well as portions of Liberty and Tattnall counties. He earned his master’s of education at GSU. In addition to being a public school teacher, Williams has also worked as a farmer and is currently a tree farmer in Toombs County. He has served as a missionary in China, Belize and Israel with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board and in 2007 was named to Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians list.
As Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard, Butterworth oversees more than 14,000 personnel in the Georgia Department of Defense, which includes the state’s Army National Guard, Air National Guard and State Defense Force. In addition to military service that includes time in Georgia’s own 116th Bomb Wing as a B-1B aircraft commander and flight lead, Butterworth also has worked as a Delta pilot. He recently completed service as a member of the Georgia State Senate, where he served as chairman of the Higher Education Committee and vice chairman of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.
For those who are not able to make it this weekend, several options are available. Again this year, a live Web cast will be streamed during each ceremony and can be accessed by visiting www.georgiasouthern.edu/commencement
. The broadcasts will begin a few minutes prior to the actual start of each ceremony, allowing viewers to watch the graduates march in to the beat of “Pomp and Circumstance.”
For more information about Georgia Southern’s spring commencement ceremonies, click here