AP NEWS

KSU to graduate 3,400 through Thursday

May 8, 2019

KENNESAW — The first of 3,400 owls flew the nest on Tuesday, as commencement ceremonies began at Kennesaw State University.

Graduation ceremonies began at 10 a.m., with 382 graduating from the Michael J. Coles College of Business.

Students from the Colleges of Architecture and Construction Management, Computing and Software Engineering, and Engineering and Engineering Technology were scheduled to walk the stage at 3 p.m., and graduate students at 7 p.m.

Commencements will continue at the Kennesaw campus through Thursday.

Keith Schroeder, CEO and founder of High Road Ice Cream, gave the keynote address at the morning commencement. Schroeder, whose company was created in 2010 out of an assignment during a graduate course at KSU, shared his own academic failings and triumphs, challenging students to be brave in the face of failure and to commit to their professional and personal passions.

“Entrepreneurship is a practical and reasonable life and career path. Listen to no one who suggests otherwise. It’s not risky. It’s smart to place bets on yourself,” he said.

Schroeder said he temporarily dropped out of college and took nearly 15 years to earn his undergraduate degree. He said it took him a while to understand he wanted to be a chef, and he reflected fondly on his time at KSU as the first chef out of the business school.

“The beauty of the Coles College culture is this: it does not follow the status quo. And neither do you. Indeed, because the school is evolving, it’s inherently entrepreneurial,” he told students. “The school embodies its own Rock ‘n’ Roll ethos. It’s not like the pedigreed schools, and it doesn’t care.”

Schroeder is now an accomplished chef and cookbook author, who has won a James Beard Award for his recent cookbook, “Mad Delicious: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing.”

KSU President Pamela Whitten also offered her congratulations to students before their walk across the stage. Whitten said the academic challenges students overcome at KSU prepare them for real-life challenges in a variety of fields, as well as in their personal lives.

“Whatever you decide to do, an undergraduate degree from Kennesaw State means that you applied yourself in a rigorous and challenging environment and are now prepared to conquer the world,” she said.

KSU will graduate 3,376 students through Thursday, with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.23 and average graduate GPA of 3.77, according to Tiffany Capuano, a spokeswoman for the university. Capuano said 1,597 of those graduating with either a graduate or undergraduate degree are male and 1,779 are female.

Capuano said this spring, the most graduates, 725, will come from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The most popular major for undergraduates is psychology — 196 will graduate with the degree.

For graduate degrees, the most popular this spring is for specialist in education, she said. Eighty-six students will receive the graduate degree.

The youngest person to graduate with an undergraduate degree this spring will be 18, and the youngest to receive a graduate degree will be 21. Oldest graduates will be 65 for an undergraduate degree and 77 for graduate.

Students from KSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences will graduate Wednesday at 10 a.m. Students from the WellStar College of Health and Human Services, the College of Science and Mathematics and the University College will graduate Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Commencement ceremonies will conclude with students graduating from the School of Communication, within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the Bagwell College of Education and the College of the Arts.

All ceremonies are held at the convocation center at 590 Cobb Avenue.