Savannah State University will hold its 183rd commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Tiger Arena. Approximately 240 students will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees during the ceremony, which is free and open to the public. The commencement address will be delivered by Lawrence M. Drake II, president and chief executive officer of Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) Program.
Based in Atlanta, Ga., LEAD is a global knowledge and experiential learning organization that enables youth of diverse backgrounds to convert high potential into high achievement and responsible leadership. Drake, who also serves as chairman of HOPE 360 Inc., an executive management advisory firm, is a certified consultant for Personnel Decisions International, an investment advisor for AJIA Capital Holdings and a senior partner at Sarus Partners LLC. He retired from The Coca-Cola Company where he was managing director, president and CEO of the $1B West Africa Division of Coca-Cola Africa. Previously, he served in senior level positions with The Executive Leadership Council, PepsiCo, Cablevision Systems Corp. and Kraft Inc., and has helped bring several start-ups and mid-stage entrepreneurial companies to market, including Haven Media Group and Dolman Technologies.
Drake serves or has served on the boards and executive committees of several non-profit organizations including The National Conference for Community and Justice, The California Science Center, Crystal Stairs Inc., LEAD (Leadership, Education and Development), Jarvis Christian College, The Executive Leadership Council, Vine & Oak Foundation North America and Nehemiah Project Ministries International.
He recently completed his master’s degree in psychology at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., and is scheduled to receive his doctorate degree in psychology in 2014, also at Fielding.