About 600 Graduate in Separate Ceremonies

For the first time, Columbus State University staged separate graduation ceremonies during its 92nd commencement on Saturday, May 13 in the Lumpkin Center.

The split commencement meant more than 600 graduates could have more family members and friends in attendance, unlike one year ago when about 530 graduates were limited to six guests each. On Saturday, ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each could accommodate about 300 graduates.

Degree recipients from the College of Science and D. Abbott Turner College of Business participated in the morning while the College of Arts and Letters, College of Education and University College recognized its graduates during the afternoon ceremony.

The graduates got insight from commencement speakers University of North Carolina Charlotte Chancellor Emeritus James H. Woodward in the morning and W.C. Bradley Co. Chairman of the Board and CEO Stephen Butler in the afternoon.

Woodward is credited with building strong support among the Charlotte regions corporate and political leaders, obtaining approval to expand UNC-Charlottes mission to include doctoral programs and raising the university to doctoral/research intensive status.

Woodward graduated from Jordan High School and studied at Georgia Tech where he earned a doctorate in engineering mechanics. In 1989, he became UNC-Charlottes third chancellor. He retired in 2005 at the end of a record-setting fundraising campaign that brought more than $110 million to the university.

Butler also is chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Bradley-Turner Foundation, which also was recognized during the afternoon ceremony for its role in the progress of CSU and the local community.

In addition to leading W.C. Bradley and the Bradley-Turner Foundation, Butler is a member of the board of directors for Brookstone School, Columbus Bank and Trust Co., Columbus State University Foundation, International Friendship Ministries, The Pastoral Institute and St. Francis Hospital.