December 6, 2023

Commencement Preparations and Building Dedications

Dear students and alumni,

One of the highlights of the year at CSU is almost here; Commencement 2017 is this month and there is a lot of planning underway. Everyone on campus is getting ready to host our graduates and their families and celebrate their momentous accomplishment.

The Commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, Oct. 27 at the brand new Foley Event Center at the Park at OWA. I am excited for this change in our ceremony location as we will be able to host more graduates and family members in a brand new local attraction. Due to the facility’s larger size, we will be holding one ceremony instead of two. Having all of our 657 graduates and their guests at one ceremony will make this year’s event even more special.

I am also pleased to welcome Erin Gruwell as our keynote speaker. Erin is the author and founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation, which was the inspiration behind the 2007 film “Freedom Writers,” staring Hilary Swank and Patrick Dempsey.

One of my favorite parts about Commencement is Open House, which is held on Thursday, Oct. 26. This is a chance for graduates to tour campus and meet CSU team members who have helped them throughout their education. It is always a special time to hear your stories and see you all on campus. I look forward to it every year.

At the beginning of this month, we had the honor of renaming our Center for Continuing Education building to the Joseph A. Manjone Center for Continuing Education. This change is in tribute to Dr. Manjone, who has been a longtime, dedicated administrator at CSU and also a dear friend to me for the last 17 years. It was truly an honor to recognize him in this way.

To learn more about the building dedication, click here.

Later this month, our student engagement and alumni relations teams will head to Texas to host events for our Knights in San Antonio and Fort Worth. If you are near either of these cities, I encourage you to attend and participate in this unique opportunity to connect with members of the CSU team, as well as your fellow students and alumni. To learn more or RSVP, visit the events page on our website.

We look forward to seeing our recent graduates in Orange Beach very soon. For those of you who are still studying and looking forward to finishing your degree, know that the day will come and we look forward to celebrating it with you.


Robert Mayes