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Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony and Events

Alumni Pinning Ceremony

Alumni Pinning Ceremony & Reception
Thursday, May 2 | 3:30 p.m. | Student Union

Commencement Ceremony
Friday, May 3 | 9 a.m. | T.A. Wright Stadium

Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony
Friday, May 3 | 3 p.m. | King Frazier Ball Room






Commencement Ceremony Live Stream Recording

Commencement Live Stream

Esteemed Commencement Speaker:

 Pink Cole Hayes

“Pinky” Cole Hayes, founder of the immensely popular Atlanta-based Slutty Vegan restaurant chain and 2023 TIME100 Next honoree, is returning to Savannah State University (SSU) this spring to deliver the commencement speech to the class of 2024. 

Cole Hayes visited the university in the fall as part of her book tour for her autobiographical book, “I Hope You Fail,” which details the trials and tribulations she overcame to become the successful owner of 14 restaurants in Georgia, New York, Texas and Alabama in just six years. As the title implies, success has not been easy. Her father was sentenced to prison the day she was born. Her first restaurant burned down. Just as her innovative plant-based burger restaurant venture was gaining popularity, a pandemic rocked the world. 

“I had the privilege of presenting my book at Savannah State and personally shared with students how some of my most significant failures transformed into invaluable lessons and triumphs,” Cole Hayes said. “I'm thrilled for the chance to address the Class of 2024 as they embark on their next life chapters.”

 Savannah State Interim President Cynthia Alexander said the university invited Cole Hayes back because the message of her book resonated with SSU students. 

“I think her life story represents the path that many of our students have taken just to get to Savannah State,” Alexander said. “As these students navigate the path of life they will have successes and struggles, but just like Mrs. Cole Hayes, they need to know they can conquer and thrive in the midst of challenges.” 

“Thriving in Change” will be the theme of Cole Hayes’s speech on Friday, May 3, 2024 at T.A. Wright Stadium, 4437 Skidaway Rd. Cole will address 350 SSU graduates, the largest graduating class in the last several years. 

“It is always an honor to speak to the next generation of leaders,” Cole Hayes said, “and I am excited to be the commencement speaker for the Savannah State class of 2024 for that very reason – they are some of our fiercest leaders of tomorrow.”


Esteemed Commissioning Ceremony Speaker:

Kevin Caesar is a United States Army Lieutenant Colonel pursuing a National Security and Resource Strategy degree at the Eisenhower School in Washington, DC. Lieutenant Colonel Caesar has experience at all levels of military operations. Lieutenant Colonel Caesar began his career as an Infantry Officer and transitioned to Human Resources after a 36-month break in service to pursue a civilian career. Lieutenant Colonel Caesar is a former lead instructor at the Adjutant General School, Fort Jackson, South Carolina; a member of the General Officer Management Officer in the Pentagon; and the lead planner for the United States Army Central, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. Lieutenant Colonel Caesar recently relinquished his duties as the senior human resources officer for the 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. He is a graduate of Florida State University and the School of Advanced Military Studies.

 Graduate Resources for Review:

Commencement is a significant moment for graduates. It marks a pinnacle of achievement, and Savannah State University celebrates the occasion with formal pomp and circumstance. The commencement committee is working to create a positive solution for all involved, so that our student’s accomplishments can be celebrated with family and/or friends in attendance.

Here are a few reminders: 

If there are any concerns about your degree requirements, please contact your academic advisor. Questions related to diplomas or the application for graduation can be directed to the Office of the Registrar at

Graduation Photos for Purchase

Graduates, if you would like to purchase your graduation photos, please visit the Upscale Photography website to shop your images in three galleries: 1) Conferring of degree pics with the President, 2) Graduates on background pics, and 3) Various candid pics. 

Alumni Pinning Ceremony

The Alumni Pinning Ceremony is a sacred rite of passage marking the significant transition whereby graduates leave the ranks of student and are welcomed as esteemed members of the SSU National Alumni Association.

Here are some important things you should know about the Alumni Pinning Ceremony: