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2018 Spring Commencement Ceremonies Feature Strong Lineup of Speakers

Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Institute of Technology will hold its 255th Commencement ceremonies May 4-5 at McCamish Pavilion on the Georgia Tech campus.

The Ph.D. ceremony will begin at 9 a.m., doors open at 7:30 a.m., May 4, and feature the traditional hooding of the candidates and a keynote address by Rafael Bras, Georgia Tech provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. The first faculty member to hold the K. Harrison Brown Family Chair, he holds faculty appointments in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bras earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also taught for more than 32 years. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on global climate change.

After the Ph.D. ceremony, Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson will host the President’s Graduation Celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Tech Tower Lawn, or the Student Center Ballroom in the event of rain.

The master’s ceremony is scheduled for 3 to 5:30 p.m., and doors open at 1:30 p.m.

 Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Georgia Tech alumna and president and dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine, will deliver the keynote address. Rice is the sixth president of the Morehouse School of Medicine and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution.

She is a renowned infertility specialist and researcher and has served as the dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president of health affairs at Meharry Medical College, where she founded and directed the Center for Women’s Health Research. She earned a degree in chemistry from Georgia Tech and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School.

The two bachelor’s ceremonies are scheduled for May 5. The morning ceremony will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Georgia Tech alumna and former astronaut Jan Davis will deliver the keynote address. Davis earned a degree in applied biology from Georgia Tech before going on to complete a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering at Auburn University. She earned her master’s and her doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

During her career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), she provided technical support for space shuttle payloads, served as the capsule communicator on seven missions and logged more than 673 hours in space on three space flights.

Tickets are required, and the will call window opens at 7 a.m. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. This ceremony includes the following academic disciplines:

  • College of Computing: Computer Science
  • College of Design: Industrial Design and Architecture
  • College of Sciences: Psychology, Discrete Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Biology
  • College of Engineering: Environmental, Civil, Biomedical, Materials Science and Engineering, Industrial, and Aerospace.

The second bachelor’s ceremony will be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and features an address from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. She was elected Atlanta’s 60th mayor in November 2017 after representing southwest Atlanta on the Atlanta City Council for eight years.

Bottoms earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University and her law degree from Georgia State University. Tickets are required, and the will call window opens at 1 p.m. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

This ceremony includes the following academic disciplines:

  • College of Computing: Computational Media
  • Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts: Computational Media; Literature, Media, and Communication; Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies; Public Policy; History, Technology, and Society; International Affairs and Modern Languages; International Affairs; Economics and International Affairs; Global Economics and Modern Languages; and Economics
  • Scheller College of Business: Business Administration
  • College of Sciences: Biochemistry, Applied Physics, Physics, and Chemistry
  • College of Engineering: Chemical and Biomolecular, Nuclear and Radiological, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical

More than 2,120 undergraduates will receive bachelor’s degrees. The master’s ceremony will award 1,370 master’s degrees and the Ph.D. ceremony will award 180 doctorates.

Additional Photos

President Peterson at Commencement

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Jan Davis

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Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

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Rafael Bras

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Keisha Lance Bottoms

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Last revised May 15, 2020