Southeastern confers degrees on more than 1,100
Southeastern conferred degrees on 1,120 graduates Saturday, May 14, at the university’s
spring commencement exercises.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards provided the keynote address. Edwards was elected
the 56th governor of the state last year and assumed office in January.
Edwards, a native of Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, told the graduates that their
achievements will empower them to make a real difference in the world. Southeastern,
he said, has given you the knowledge and experience to be successful.
“Whatever you do, be thankful for what you have learned here at Southeastern,”
He also encouraged the graduates to make a decision to stay in Louisiana.
“The opportunities here in Louisiana are unlimited, boundless and exciting,”
he said. “Don’t give up on your state; the time is now, and opportunities are out
there. Seize them.”
Candidates for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees were honored.
In his welcome, President John L. Crain noted that the 1,120 individuals being
recognized at commencement included 382 men and 738 women who were receiving 15 different
degrees; and representatives from 23 states and 18 countries.
The university awarded its highest academic honor, the President’s Medal for
Academic Excellence, to 20 students with the highest cumulative grade point average
in the university’s five colleges. All medal recipients are graduating with a 4.0
grade point average.
Medal recipients were:
▪ College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – arts major Jenna Lynn Hildebrand
of Abita Springs; music major Tara Denise Hymel of Denham Springs; psychology major
Amanda Marie Lopiparo of River Ridge; and English majors Kirsten Lynn Mixon of Zachary,
Ivy Lenore Pierson of Holden and Katherine Grace Wall of Jennings.
▪ College of Business – finance majors Joseph Michael Edwards of Monroe and Andrea
Renee Villarreal of Mexico; accounting majors Kayla Jane Hoover of Ponchatoula, Nitish
Khanal of Nepal, and Angie Mae Moyer of Hammond; management major Veronica Loper Klug
of Denham Springs; and business administration and accounting major Eduardo Andrés
Ricks of Lacombe.
▪ College of Education and Human Development – elementary education major Quinley
Marie Arceneaux of Denham Springs and elementary and special education mild/moderate
grades 1-5 major Heather Gail Mills from Luling.
▪ College of Nursing and Health Sciences – communication, sciences and disorders
major Jenna Lauren Barcelona of LaPlace; athletic training major Anthony Joseph Miller
of Hammond; and kinesiology major Carley Marie Short of Slidell.
▪ College of Science and Technology – mathematics major Christopher Wayne Alexander
of Baton Rouge and chemistry major Binit Sharma Poudel of Nepal.