“We started together, and we’re finishing together,” Gay said Friday.
The Brusly couple is among 165 students getting their law degrees at the 10 a.m. ceremonies in the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Southern’s Baton Rouge campus.
Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the executive vice president and treasurer of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is giving the commencement address.
A native of Opelousas and Southern University Law Center alum, she is Wal-Mart’s chief tax officer.
Gay was part of the 2003 LSU team that won the BCS National Championship and during his rookie season started for a New England Patriots team that won the 2004 Super Bowl XXXIX. He later joined the New Orleans Saints as a cornerback and helped win the 2009 Super Bowl XLIV.
While he was playing for the New Orleans Saints, his wife Desha started talking about going to law school, and Gay said it sounded like a good idea to him.
“I have competed all my life, and the law is about competing too, only one on one with another lawyer,” Gay said.
The Saints gave him time off during a mini-camp to take the LSAT, the standardized Law School Admission Test.
His football career ended with a concussion in 2010, and after a year off for recovery, the couple entered the Southern Law Center. The National Football League paid the costs as part of a program for former players.
Gay is graduating cum laude. The Latin term means “with praise” and is awarded to students with a grade-point average of more than 3.5 on a scale of 4.
He’s unsure about the future beyond passing the bar exam that will allow him and his wife to practice in Louisiana. “I have no plans to move away,” Gay said. “But I’m fortunate to be in a position where I don’t have to rush out and find a job immediately. We’ll see what happens after we pass the bar. That’s the next goal.”
The law school also will recognize members of its class of 1965 as golden alumni during the ceremony. The three to be honored are retired 19th Judicial District Judge Curtis A. Calloway, of Baton Rouge; Walter Lee Bailey Jr., who represented Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis; and Louis B. Guidry, who served as the first black city prosecutor in Lake Charles.
The graduates are: Andrew T. Adams*, Shreveport; Cory A. Alford, Houston; Courtney A. Allen, Plaquemine; Jordan P. Amedee*, Gonzales; Kelley S. Anderson, St. Louis; Rayford J. Andries, Baton Rouge; Charles L. Ayles, Indianola, Mississippi; +Audrius M. Ball, Shreveport; Arisa A. Banks, New Orleans; Doning C. Barber, New York City; Denis W. Barry Jr.**, Mandeville; Brittany Bass-Arvie, Shreveport; Ivory Q. Batiste, Addis; Candice Battiste-Houston, Haughton; Oscar L. Battle Jr.*, Harvey; Ryan M. Becnel, New Orleans; Raven C. Boxie, Opelousas; Christopher R. Bristol, Biloxi, Mississippi; Donovan S. Brittian, Lewisville, Texas; Bernard Brown III, New Orleans; Jackson T. Brown**, Lake Charles; Rubiante L. Brown, Belle Chasse; Brooke E. Burnham, Ville Platte; Brian D. Burns, Jackson, Mississippi; Kerry J. Cahill, Slidell; Jessie L. Cannon, St. Francisville; Shannan L. Clark, Zachary; John M. Collins, Baton Rouge; John C. Conine Jr., Natchitoches; +Joseph C. Cooper, Madisonville; Shameka N. Cooper, Magee, Mississippi; +Trachelle L. Cornish, Gonzales; Randall L. Daquanno Jr.**, Baton Rouge; Kelley R. Dick **, Baton Rouge; Kristian B. Dobard, Natchez, Mississippi; Kenneth A. Doggett Jr., Alexandria; Sherron P. Douglas, Stonewall; Noah M. Drake, Vicksburg, Mississippi; Derek E. Elsey, Zachary; Jamar L. Ennis, Baton Rouge; Zachary P. Fickes*, Destrehan; Charles J. Fontenot, Sunset; Devin M. Fontenot*, Lake Charles; Diangleo S. Frazer*, Royal Palm Beach, Florida; Desha Gay Chaguanas, Trinidad; Randall B. Gay Jr.*, Brusly; Stephanie N. Gerler, Desoto, Missouri; Cassandra K. Gilyard*, New Orleans; Shoneak V. Glass*, Fayette, Mississippi; Caina Munson Green, Marksville; Cori D. Green, Hillside, New Jersey; Kyle M. Green Jr., New Orleans; Megan G. Green, Lafayette; Shirley A. Guillory, Lake Charles; Anacletus Z. Gyinia, Hammond; Candice P. Haley, Dallas; Linly L. Hall, Baton Rouge; Laci N. Hamilton*, Baton Rouge; Antonio J. Hansberry, Little Rock, Arkansas; Lacey R. Hardy, St. Francisville; +Bryan A. Harris, Baton Rouge; Kendra L. Harris, Baton Rouge; Deonna M. Hayes, Jacksonville, Florida; Kyla J. Hemphill, Columbus, Ohio, Eric M. Hoggatt, Wisner; Marlin L. Hollins, Jackson; Tramelle D. Howard, Baton Rouge; +Annie Jackson, Madison, Alabama; Marlon D. Jackson*, Jackson; Jared Lee Jeter, Haughton; LeBuria C. Johnson*, Mobile, Alabama; Portia L. Johnson*, Erwinville; Venise L. Johnson, Baton Rouge; Jeffrey P. Jones Jr., Thibodaux; Tranesia D. Joseph, Lakeland; Willie R. Joseph Jr., Baton Rouge; Summar B. Kasem*, Denham Springs; +Shermin S. Khan, Baton Rouge; Caleb M. Kilgo, Ball; Theresa M. King, Natchitoches; Evan P. Knoten, New Orleans; Jesse E. Lagarde**, Amite; Michael L. Lancaster, Southlake, Texas; Jessica C. Ledet, Greensburg; Iriane B. Lee, New Orleans; Justin C. Leger, Church Point; Christopher W. Legrand, Metairie; Lacie Lemoine, Moreauville; Drew D. Lyons*, Pearl River; John T. Mandeville IV*, Baton Rouge; Merisa Marsh, Atlanta; Yladrea N. Marshall, Missouri City, Texas; Jeremy C. Mason, Virginia Beach, Virginia; James C. Mattox III, Newton, Texas; Alexander D. Mayhall**, Covington; Kiwanier E. McCalope, Baton Rouge; Kendra L. McCray, Collierville, Tennessee; Alicia I. McDowell, San Marcos, California; Brittany J. McKeel, Shreveport; SeNita L. McRae, Flowery Branch, Georgia; Corey M. Meaux*, Abbeville; Sara A. Medina, Dickinson, Texas; Brenton I. Mims, Maringouin; Chasity C. Minix, Rayne; Nana A. Mireku-Boateng, Silver Spring, Maryland; Alex O. Mitchell, Birmingham, Alabama; Deshona C. Mobley, Ville Platte; Jaime D. Morgan, New Orleans; Allison G. Morrow**, Opelousas; Cranay D. Murphy**, Opelousas; Monroe Murphy III, Flint, Michigan; Brittney N. Nelson, Monroe; Brittney L. Pennywell, Baton Rouge; Theresa C. Phillips*, Belle Chasse; Katrena A. Porter, Berwick; Kristin A. Porter, Baton Rouge; Jared G. Price**, Ferriday; Kacy F. Reed, Lafayette; Chantal G. Revere, Atlanta; India J. Roberts, Erath; James L. Roberts, Decatur, Georgia; +Zatabia N. Robertson, Clinton; Abby G. Robinson, Ridgeland, Mississippi; Phillip M. Robinson, Baton Rouge; Joshua A. Rock*, Mountain City, Tennessee; Jasmine C. Ross, Monroe; David H. Saterfield, Camden, Arkansas; Jay M. Schwartzberg, Baton Rouge; Alease T. Scott, Monroe; Xavier S. Semien, Eunice; Kathryn C. Serio, Baton Rouge; +Brian W. Shinault, Metairie; Michael J. Sipos Jr., New Orleans; Brady J. Smith, New Orleans; Meagan M. Smith, Prairieville; Kaylen M. Stern, New Orleans; Allyson L. Sterritt, St. Francisville; Sierra S. Stewart, Alpharetta, Georgia; Joe Stoma IV**, Crowley; Adam W. Taylor*, Baton Rouge; Charles A. Terrebonne II, Baton Rouge; Lakeisha M. Thomas, Ville Platte; Melba M. Thomas, Douglasville, Georgia; Whitney R. Thomas, San Antonio; Willie R. Thomas III, Houston; Danielle N. Thompson*, Lafayette; Charika C. Tolliver, Baton Rouge; Anjelica M. Torrance, Mobile, Alabama; Jazmine A. Torres, Garden Grove, California; Bobby-Warren J. Triche*, Thibodaux; +Jacquelyn C. Tucker, Baton Rouge; Elissa Turner**, Roanoke; Brennan A. Vazquez, Fort Riley, Kansas; Courtney M. Verrett, Brooklyn, New York; Jasmine M. White**, New Orleans; Gary Williams Jr., Houma; Kayla M. Williams, Laurel, Maryland; Larry D. Williams II, Memphis, Tennessee; William J. Wilson**, Franklinton; Jordan B. Wright*, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Arielle L. Young, Lake Charles; Carl Yuan, Toronto, Ontario.
JD/MPA D UAL DEGREE: Patrick G. Celestine, Covington.
P UBLIC LAW CERTIFICATE: Scott D. Harrington**, Plaquemine; Lindsay M. Mark, Valdosta, Georgia; Patrice L. Rose*, New Orleans.
** Magna cum laude
+Summer 2015 graduate(s)