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Georgia Southern University holds spring commencement ceremonies
With the flag of Puerto Rico on his cap to honor his heritage, Arturo Diaz, 23, of Lawrenceville gives fellow physics graduate Rebecka Moreno, 20, of El Paso, Texas a hug.

    Georgia Southern University held its 2021 undergraduate commencement ceremonies May 8 at Savannah Convention Center, and May 10, 11 and 12 at Paulson Stadium. Graduate ceremonies were held May 13, also at Paulson Stadium.

Each event featured its own speaker. At the May 12 undergraduate ceremony, Atlanta native and GSU alum Jason Louder was the guest speaker. Louder's star has been on the rise, as he has appeare in more than 30 stage productions since 2009, and he has taken on starring roles in productions on the CW and on Hulu. His character, "Babatunde the Griot" has inspired thousands of students throughout the state of Georgia. 

Victoria Keen, 21, of Bloomingdale, right, and her fellow Georgia Southern students move their tassels to the left after officially being announced as graduates from the colleges of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Engineering and Computing at Paulson Stadium on May 12.
Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson was the featured speaker for the graduate ceremony on Thursday. A leader, teacher, coach and advocate for students, Jackson has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and more than 10 years of experience in executive training. 

Kenterious Goolsby, 22, of Macon does a celebration dance for his brothers in the Iota Phi Theta fraternity after walking across the stage as Georgia Southern graduates students from the colleges of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Engineering and Computing at Paulson Stadium on Wednesday, May 12.
Jackson created Georgia Southern VALUES, a civility initiative rooted in responsible decision making. She was the first female Dean of Students in the history of GSU, and developed a Dean of Students Crisis Management Plan, facilitated a student grievance policy, and helped to build the new Division of Student Affairs. She was named Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Albany State University in 2018.

Currently, Jackson serves as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Augusta University, where she leads the Student Engagement Unit. 

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