University System of Georgia President Sonny Perdue walks with Augusta University President Brooks, A. Keel

Chancellor Perdue, President Keel to deliver keynote commencement speeches

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue and Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD, will give the keynote addresses during the undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies for Augusta University.

For Keel, these will be his final ceremonies as president since announcing his retirement last fall. He will give the keynote address during the graduate hooding and commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the Augusta Marriott Convention Center.

Since the fall of 2015, Keel has presided over AU ceremonies where more than 18,000 students have graduated.

A man wearing graduation regalia stands at a podium with a microphone and addresses a large crowd.
AU President Brooks A. Keel, PhD [Michael Holahan/Augusta University]

Always putting students first, this will be his last opportunity as president to watch them walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. It will be a moment that he won’t soon forget.

“Serving as the keynote speaker at my final Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony is a great honor,” said Keel. “Since the day I set foot on campus, I have been so proud of the academic achievements, community engagement and career success of our students and alumni. As a two-time graduate of our legacy institutions, I want this graduating class – like all of our classes – to realize they can do anything they set their minds to with a degree from Augusta University.”

Perdue will give the keynote addresses at both the 10 a.m. and the 2 p.m. undergraduate ceremonies on Friday, May 10.

He took over as chancellor of USG in 2022 and currently oversees 26 public colleges and universities with more than 344,000 students.

The two-term governor of Georgia also chaired the Senate Higher Education Committee and eventually served as Senate president pro tem.

In his role as USG chancellor, Perdue supports the Board of Regents in furthering and achieving its vision for the University System by providing leadership in analyzing, monitoring and anticipating higher education trends and developments, and by strategically planning for the future of the University System of Georgia.

“I am honored to share the stage with Chancellor Perdue at this year’s ceremonies,” said Keel. “His passion for education has been evident since he began his role, and I’m excited to hear his words of wisdom he’ll instill in the Class of 2024.”

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Written by
Kevin Faigle

Kevin Faigle is Media Relations Specialist at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at

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Avatar photo Written by Kevin Faigle

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