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UNG alumnus who leads education group set to speak at summer commencement

UNG alumnus Dr. Stephen Pruitt, president of the Southern Regional Education Board, will be speaking at UNG's summer commencement Aug. 3.

A University of North Georgia (UNG) alumnus who leads a group seeking to improve public education at all levels will be the keynote speaker for this year’s summer commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Convocation Center on UNG's Dahlonega Campus.

Dr. Stephen Pruitt took over in July as president of the Atlanta-based Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). He previously served as education commissioner for Kentucky. At the national level, he worked closely with state agencies and educators around the country to improve policy and practice in science education.

A 1991 alumnus, Pruitt earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from UNG. He later added a master's degree in secondary science education from the University of West Georgia and a doctorate in chemistry from Auburn University.

Pruitt also worked for five years as senior vice president at Achieve Inc., focusing on Next Generation Science Standards. He held the roles of science and mathematics program manager, director of academic standards, associate state superintendent for assessment and accountability, and chief of staff while working for the Georgia Department of Education from 2003-2010.

"Dr. Pruitt's professional expertise includes a unique blend of academic and administrative experience coupled with frequent opportunities to interact with lawmakers in support of a wide cross-section of key public education initiatives," said Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and chairman of the SREB presidential search committee, in the news release announcing Pruitt’s hiring.

Students who have applied for summer graduation can pick up their packets, which include the designated number of tickets, at their home campus bookstore the week before graduation. Graduates are instructed to read through all information and instructions given in the packets.

Graduates should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to graduation to prepare and line up for the ceremony. Graduates and guests should allow extra time for traffic and parking when arriving for the ceremony in the Convocation Center on UNG's Dahlonega Campus.

Graduates and guests are invited to share their success via social media using #UNG18grad; posts and photos using the hashtag can be viewed before, during and after the weekend’s ceremony at UNG18grad.

Separate commissioning ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 3 for members of the Corps of Cadets entering the U.S. Army as second lieutenants. Individual commissioning ceremonies for the cadets will recognize their service and leadership and formally mark their entry into the military.

To find more information about summer commencement, including details and instructions for graduates and guests, visit UNG's commencement webpage.

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