Approximately 3,855 students are expected to graduate during LSU’s 277th commencement exercises on Friday, according to an LSU news release.

The academic procession will begin at 8:45 a.m., and the main ceremony will begin at 9 a.m., both in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources Linda Thomas-Greenfield, an LSU alumna and a member of the Career Foreign Service, will deliver the keynote address.

“We are pleased to welcome Linda Thomas-Greenfield back to campus to speak during commencement,” said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin in the release. “It’s always great to bring someone with such a stellar career and resume to speak at graduation, and with her being a fellow Tiger, it makes it all the more exciting. It’s a global world that we are living in, and with her experience in the U.S. Foreign Service, her commencement message is one that will include many important lessons for our graduates.”

During the main ceremony, doctoral candidates will receive their diplomas individually, degrees will be conferred for all students and University Medalists will be recognized.

There will be open admission to the main ceremony.

Diploma ceremonies for each college will follow the main ceremony and will be held at various times and locations across campus on Commencement Day. During those ceremonies, each graduate’s name will be called, and diplomas will be handed out individually on stage.

For more information on the times and locations of the college diploma ceremonies, go to

Also Friday, John S. Wilson, Jr., executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will be the commencement speaker at Southern University’s spring 2012 commencement exercise in the F.G. Clark Activity Center, according to a news release.

The event begins at 10:30 a.m.

As executive director, Wilson partners the White House, 32 federal agencies, private and philanthropic entities to work to assist 105 HBCUS, including Southern, across the country.

Wilson received his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a master’s of Theological Studies from Harvard University and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.

Prior to working with the White House Initiative on HBCUs, Wilson was an associate professor of higher education in the graduate school of education at the George Washington University. He also served as the executive dean of GWU’s Virginia Campus and helped to develop a strategic plan for the university.

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