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Commencement Ceremony

All events take place at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center

Savannah International Trade and Convention Center

on Friday, June 16th and Saturday, 17th, 2017.

Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
1 International Drive
Savannah, Georgia 31402
P: 912.201.8000

FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2017

Time Event
2 PM Check-in begins
3 PM Ceremony begins


Time Event
9 AM Check-in begins
10 PM Ceremony begins

Time Event
2 PM Check-in begins
3 PM Ceremony begins

Commencement Registration

All students who completed their coursework between August 2016 and July 2017 are invited to participate in commencement. Students must register prior to Thursday, June 1, 2017 in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. To register, please click here.
Students participating in commencement need to bring their cap, gown and hood (for Master's students) with them to the ceremony. Caps and gowns can be ordered here.

To request accommodations in connection with this event, contact the Associate Dean of Students in advance at 912.201.8021 or


Honors Designations

Honors cords and medallions are purchased by the University for students participating in the commencement ceremony ONLY. Ropes and medallions are considered regalia and are for the sole purpose of recognizing students with academic excellence during the ceremony.

Undergraduate Programs:

Summa Cum Laude GPA 3.90 - 4.0 Orange Rope
Magna Cum Laude GPA 3.70 - 3.89 White Rope
Cum Laude GPA 3.50 - 3.69 Gold Rope

Graduate Programs:

High Honors GPA 3.90 - 4.0 Medallion with Gold Ribbon
Honors GPA 3.75 - 3.89 Medallion with Gold/White Ribbon

Honors society ropes are provided by the individual society, not
South University. Please contact any honor societies you are part of to request cords.


Commencement Day

What to Expect

  • All graduates must attend check in and line up to participate in commencement.
  • Plan to arrive two hours before their ceremony for check in.
  • Bring your cap, gown and hood (for Master’s graduates) with you.
  • Once graduates have arrived for check-in they will NOT have an opportunity to leave the trade center until the ceremony has concluded.
  • The ceremony is estimated to last up to 2 hours.
  • As a courtesy to all graduates and their guests, please do not leave until after the ceremony is completed.
  • Eat a hearty lunch before you arrive for check in.
  • Bring snacks and water with you.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • It is warm in Savannah so wear something lightweight underneath your regalia – business casual is recommended.
  • Family and friends do not need a ticket to enter the ceremony.
  • Seating at the ceremony is first come, first serve. Doors open two hours prior to the ceremony.
  • The Savannah Trade and Convention Center provides adequate parking, however there is a very long walk from parking to the entrance. Plan accordingly.
  • Honors society ropes are provided by the individual society, not South University. Please contact any honor societies you are a part of to request cords.
  • Plan to leave any personal belongings with a family member or friend during the ceremony. South University is not responsible for any lost or stolen items left unattended.

Disability Accommodations

If you are a graduate with disability and you need assistance receiving your diploma or participating in the commencement ceremony or a guest has a special accomodation request related to a disability, please contact:

Craig Tootle, Associate Dean of Students

Phone: 912-201-8021



Commencement Speaker - Saturday June 17, 2017

Ray Rudolph, M.D., MPH, FACS
Medical Director – Assistant Professor

Raised in Houston, Texas, Dr. Rudolph served in the Army completing his studies as a licensed practical nurse at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. He worked as a chief line medic in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 where he received the Bronze Star for valor. After eight years as an LPN, he entered the Physician Assistant Program at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, graduating in 1976. His first assignment as a Physician Assistant brought him to South Dakota to serve the Sioux Nation at Lower Brule for four years. Dr. Rudolph then had the opportunity to attend the University of South Dakota, where he earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees. He completed his surgical residency training at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia where he joined the faculty upon graduation in 1991. Dr. Rudolph received his master’s degree in public health from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah in 2004.

In 2001, he and Dr. Paula Denita established the Center for Breast Care, the first practice in the region dedicated exclusively to care of the women with breast problems. He was nominated for the Association of Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award in 2008, received the Alumni Achievement Award, Baylor College of Medicine, Physician Assistant Program in 2009, was named Surgical Oncologist of the Year 2010, National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer; Savannah Coalition, and earned the Cancer Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance Award 2009 from the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer.

He has done volunteer medical work in Ecuador in the area of tuberculosis and has shared breast surgical techniques in China. Dr. Rudolph is an assistant professor of surgery at both the Georgia Regents University (Medical College of Georgia) and Mercer University School of Medicine. Before becoming the Medical Director of the Physician Assistant Program at South University, he acted as a clinical assistant professor of surgery in the program since 2005. Although Dr. Rudolph retired from the active practice of surgery in late 2014, he remains a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Breast Surgery.

He is married to Barbara, a nurse practitioner and wife of 40 years and has two children and four grandchildren.


Career Services

Resources and Info | Visit Us at Graduation!

Visit the Career Services table at graduation to meet with a Career Services advisor and find out what Career Services can do to help you. If you are job searching, learn about potential career options and connect with a Career Services advisor that you can contact after graduation. Even if you don’t think you need assistance from Career Services, visit us anyway. We have a special gift for everyone and would love to hear your success stories!

South University Alumni Association

Walking across the stage doesn't mean walking away from South University

As a graduate of South University, you belong to a community that is thousands strong. You can count on your Alumni Association to put you in touch with others who personally know the value of a South University education. The doors of opportunity are open, lifelong learning continues, and a community of colleagues welcomes you. The alumni website, Alumni Connections, is exclusive and available only to South University alumni.

Features Include:
  • Network with other alumni and professionals in your field
  • Locate classmates with the alumni directory
  • Access career resources
  • Share your accomplishments and life updates
  • Learn about campus events, faculty achievements, and university news
  • Hire a grad and find a job
Available at no charge!

There are no costs, fees, or dues to join. But the benefits of joining can be priceless. Learning doesn’t stop after graduation. The Alumni Association can help you continue growing, both personally and professionally. When you join Alumni Connections, you become part of a lifelong community of classmates.

To join, visit:


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