South University will confer 2,172 degrees beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 15 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. With 89 doctorate, 622 master's, 651 bachelor's, and 810 associate's degrees, university officials expect 7,000 guests to join the Class of 2013. Belle Wheelan, Ph.D., President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, will deliver the commencement address.
“These graduates have worked hard and followed through on their commitment to earn college degrees,” said Todd Cellini, president of South University. “This year, higher education at South University continues its tradition as a great platform to develop both professionally and personally.”
In addition to the university's largest commencement ceremony ever, the 70 graduates of the school's Accelerated Graduate Programs make this year the largest class of graduates in the innovative Accelerated Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Administration and Accelerated MBA in Healthcare Administration programs. In these programs, which can be completed in less than a year, courses are taught one at a time, with an online component for each course along with classroom instruction that is held on alternating Saturdays in Savannah, Atlanta, and Columbia, S.C.
The 711 graduate-level students will receive their academic hoods Saturday, June 15, in five hooding ceremonies:
• 9 a.m. – College of Health Professions – Chatham Ballroom A/B
• 9 a.m. – Criminal Justice and Professional Counseling Students – Oglethorpe Theater
• 11 a.m. – College of Nursing and Public Health – Chatham Ballroom A/B
• 11 a.m. – Physician Assistant Studies – Oglethorpe Theater
• 1 p.m. – School of Pharmacy – Chatham Ballroom C
The Class of 2013 represents a wide range of programs of study offered by South University from Master of Medical Science in Anesthesiologist Assistant Bachelor of Arts in Psychology to Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Many of the graduates pursued their studies in the university's online programs and are traveling to Savannah for the commencement ceremony.
About Belle Wheelan, Ph. D.
Dr. Wheelan currently serves as President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is the first African American and the first woman to serve in this capacity. Her career spans over 30 years and includes the roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president and Secretary of Education. In several of those roles she was the first African American and/or woman to serve in those capacities.
Dr. Wheelan received her Bachelor's degree from Trinity University in Texas (1972) with a double major in Psychology and Sociology; her Master's from Louisiana State University (1974) in Developmental Educational Psychology; and her Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin (1984) in Educational Administration with a special concentration in community college leadership.
She has received numerous awards and recognition including four honorary degrees; the Distinguished Graduate Award from Trinity University (2002), and from the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin (1992); Washingtonian Magazine's 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, DC (2001); the AAUW Woman of Distinction Award (2002); the Suanne Davis Roueche National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development's Distinguished Lecturer Award (2007); the John E. Roueche National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development's International Leadership Award (2010); and the AACC Leadership Award (2011).
She holds and has held membership in numerous local, state and national organizations including Rotary International; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the American College Testing, Inc., board of directors; American Association of Community Colleges' board of directors; the Lumina Foundation for Education, board of directors; and the President's Round Table of the National Council on Black American Affairs.
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