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Deal to deliver GSU commencement address

POSTED: May 9, 2014 5:12 p.m.

More than 3,000 students will receive degrees from Georgia Southern University this weekend during the 86th annual spring commencement.

The undergraduate ceremony will be held at Allen E. Paulson Stadium on Saturday at 9 a.m.

Gov. Nathan Deal and 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year Jemelleh Coes have been chosen as this year’s commencement speakers.

Deal, Georgia’s 82nd governor says his top goal is keeping Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation to do business, a ranking the state earned in 2013. A native of Sandersville, Deal’s public service to his state spans four decades. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon in Augusta after graduating with a law degree from Mercer University and has served as a prosecutor, judge, state senator and U.S. congressman. He will deliver the commencement address to undergraduates on Saturday.  

Coes (’08, ’10), a Georgia Southern alumna is a special education English language arts and reading teacher at Langston Chapel Middle School in Statesboro. As the Georgia Teacher of the Year, she travels the state providing workshops and keynote addresses while serving as an advocate for education. She also serves as a consultant for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, is a member of the Department of Education Teacher Advisory Board, a Georgia Partnership of Excellence in Education board member and was recently appointed to Georgia’s Network for Transforming Educator Preparation Advisory Council. She spoke during the commencement for graduate students on Friday.

Georgia Southern University will present a posthumous degree to the family of Cory Wilson, a junior who collapsed in class and died of cardiac arrhythmia on Jan. 17, 2013. Wilson would have graduated this year.

This year’s graduates represent 28 countries and 42 U.S. states.

For more information about spring commencement, visit To view the ceremonies live


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