Fall Graduation Set for Dec. 15 at CSU

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Columbus State University will recognize about 450 degree recipients in a commencement set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Lumpkin Center.

The participant total would eclipse recent previous totals for CSU’s fall ceremony, which has recognized about 380 and 390 graduates, respectively, in the past two years. Expanded graduating classes the past three years reflect a 35 percent enrollment increase since 2001. The university since 2006 has divided spring graduation classes, recently topping 600, into separate commencement exercises.

Patrick PittardThis fall’s graduates will get insight from speaker Patrick “Pat” Pittard, right, a member of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents, representing the Atlanta-area 10th congressional district.

A University of Georgia Terry College of Business Distinguished Alumnus, Pittard is the retired chairman of the board of Heidrick and Struggles International, Inc., a worldwide provider of executive-level search and leadership consulting services.

Considered an expert in executive-level recruitment, retention, compensation and succession, Pittard has been quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Business Week, and he is listed among the Global 200 Executive Recruiters.

Pittard also is the Distinguished Executive-in-Residence at the Terry College of Business, a voluntary position through which he teaches a course on Lessons in Leadership and works with the school’s dean and faculty on various projects.

Thomas B. Buck Jr.The ceremony also will feature an honorary degree presentation to Thomas B. Buck Jr., right, a senior member of the CSU Foundation Board of Trustees.

Born in Columbus in 1917, Buck is the only remaining charter member of the CSU Foundation, serving continuously on its Board of Directors since 1963. A well-known business and civic leader, Buck is credited for playing an important role in the growth of CSU and Columbus.

Buck began working with his father at a young age and, after attending Georgia Military College, he continued his business career, becoming president of the Buck Bottling Company, Buck Ice and Coal Company, Eelbeck Milling Company, Buck Realty and Buck Development Company.

An avid, longtime supporter of CSU, Buck also has been active in other civic affairs. He is past president of the YMCA of Columbus, the Columbus Rotary Club, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Bottlers Association, and he’s served on boards for Aflac, First National Bank and Wachovia Bank.

Seating for graduates’ guests will begin at 8:30 a.m. Heavy traffic on campus is anticipated, and shuttles will be available from main campus parking lots. The CSU Bookstore will sell commemorative items before the ceremony from the Lumpkin Center second level. A live Webcast will be available at http://graduation.colstate.edu. A high-speed connection is recommended, and a room in Lumpkin Center and Fine Arts Hall auditorium will be set up for attendees seeking an alternative viewing location.

For more information, call 706-568-2030 or go to http://graduation.colstate.edu.