More than 1,000 Students Graduate During Ceremonies on Campus

COLUMBUS, Ga. --- Students, families and friends of Columbus State University’s spring 2017 graduating class returned to campus over the weekend to celebrate during the institution's 114th commencement ceremonies.

Commencement was moved back to the Frank G. Lumpkin Center and divided up by colleges to accommodate the growth of CSU’s graduating classes. CSU graduated more than 1,000 students on Friday and Saturday.

Among them was senior music education major Amy Melton, a third generation graduate of CSU’s Schwob School of Music. Melton’s mother, father and grandmother were all Schwob music education majors. Melton was CSU’s 2017 University System of Georgia (USG) Academic Recognition Day Award recipient, presented to the student who exemplifies outstanding academic achievement and success.

Melton celebrated her accomplishments on Saturday, May 13 at 3 p.m. with the rest of the graduates of the College of the Arts and CSU’s Turner College of Business. Students of CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions graduated Friday, May 12 at 5 p.m., and students of CSU’s College of Letters and Sciences graduated Saturday at 10 a.m.

College of Education and Health Professions | Friday, May 12, 5 p.m.

Col. (Retired) David Fivecoat delivered the keynote address to the graduates of CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions. During his 24 years of service in the Army, Fivecoat participated in contingency operations in Kosovo and Bosnia, three combat tours in Iraq, and a combat tour leading the 3rd Battalion,187 Infantry in Afghanistan. His final assignment was as the commander of Ranger School, the Army’s premier leadership school. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Military History from the United States Military Academy, a Master’s in Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master’s in National Security Strategy from the National War College. While in uniform, Fivecoat earned four Bronze Star medals, the Army Commendation Medal with V Device, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Ranger Tab and Master Parachutist wings.

College of Letters and Sciences | Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley delivered the keynote address to the graduates of CSU’s College of Letters and Sciences. Hugley is a 1975 graduate of Spencer High School; a 1979 graduate of Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History/Pre Law; and a 1980 graduate of Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, where he received a Master’s of Public Policy and Public Administration. Hugley began his career at the Consolidated City/County Government as assistant director of the Department of Transportation/METRA in 1984. He was appointed director in 1988, deputy city manager in 1998, and city manager in 2005. Hugley is responsible for more than 3,000 employees and a budget of $270 million dollars. Isaiah is also an adjunct professor at CSU, where he teaches local government management.

College of the Arts and Turner College of Business | Saturday, May 13, 3 p.m.

CSU associate professor of marketing Edward O’Donnell delivered the keynote address to the graduates of CSU’s College of the Arts and Turner College of Business. O’Donnell has more than twelve years of program management and corporate turn-around experience in the aircraft and hydraulic industries. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron, where he also earned a Master’s of Accounting. He earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from Kent State University. O’Donnell was the recipient of CSU’s Faculty Research and Scholarship Award in 2011, the University System of Georgia Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching Award in 2013, CSU’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2014, and, most recently, was named CSU’s 2017 Educator of the Year.