Four hundred eight degrees were awarded during Jacksonville State University’s Summer 2013 Commencement exercises on Friday, August 2 at JSU Stadium.
Graduating Summa Cum Laude and leading the class were top graduates Kasey Harris Friday of Rome, Ga., who earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Erin Brooke Lasser of Heflin, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; and Lori Wilkins Patten of Anniston, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language.
The faculty led the processional and University President Dr. William A. Meehan presented the degrees.
Commencement speaker was Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and former JSU student Rick Bragg. A 1992 Harvard University Nieman Fellow and former New York Times correspondent, Bragg has authored five books: All Over But the Shoutin', Ava's Man, The Prince of Frogtown, I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, and The Most They Ever Had.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, Bragg has received more than 50 writing awards in 20 years, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award, the 2009 Harper Lee Award for Alabama's Distinguished Writer of the Year, the 2011 James Beard Journalism Award for Food Culture and Travel and the 2013 Alabama Artist of the Year. He currently teaches advanced magazine writing and narrative non-fiction in the journalism department at the University of Alabama.
At the ceremony, JSU awarded Bragg with the honorary doctor of letters for his accomplishments on behalf of the citizens of Alabama.
JSU's commencement was televised on WEAC-TV24 (local Cable One channel 9). It was also streamed live on the internet and is available here for online viewing for two weeks following commencement.
Photos: Top- Graduates wave to their families and friends during summer commencement exercises at JSU on August 2. Above- Graduates with top GPAs are shown with JSU President Dr. Bill Meehan and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg. From left, Dr. Meehan, Lori Patten, Erin Lasser and Rick Bragg. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)