Savannah State University will hold its 180th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Tiger Arena. Approximately 300 students will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees. Larry Ellis, member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents (USGBOR), will be the guest speaker.
The chief executive offi- cer of Ellis Services and Solutions Enterprises, LLC, Ellis served in the U.S. Army for 35 years before retiring as a four-star general. He commanded units at every level of the Army during his career, including the First Armored Division while deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Army Forces Command in Atlanta in 2001. As the Army’s deputy chief of staff for Operations, Ellis oversaw multiyear, multibilliondollar budget programs supporting national strategic objectives. His numerous military awards and honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Bronze Star Medal.
Appointed to the USGBOR by former Gov. Sonny Perdue, Ellis joined the board of directors of Point Blank Solutions in 2004 and served as president and chief executive officer through April 2009.
He is also a director on the boards of SRA International, the Armed Forces Benefit Association and the Medical College of Georgia.
Ellis earned a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University and serves on Morgan State’s Board of Regents. He earned a master’s degree from Indiana University and has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree; honorary Master of Strategic Studies degree; the Distinguished Alumni Service Award; the NAACP National Service Award and the ROCK of the Year Award.
Also during the ceremony, an SSU undergraduate will be presented with the President’s Second Mile Award, given each year during May commencement. The award recognizes stellar leadership on campus and in the Savannah community.
Established in 1890, Savannah State University is the oldest public historically black college or university in Georgia and the oldest institution of higher learning in the city of Savannah. The university’s 4,500 students select majors from 25 undergraduate and five graduate programs in the School of Teacher Education and three colleges: Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Sciences and Technology.