Revered by generations of students, Dr. Glenn Sebastian will give the University of South Alabama's Fall 2007 Commencement address at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the USA Mitchell Center. The ceremony marks the beginning for 1,507 graduates, bringing the total number of degrees awarded in USA's history to 61,234. This marks the first time in USA history that the number of degrees awarded has topped 60,000.
At the fall commencement ceremony, USA will award 886 bachelor's degrees, 577 master's degrees, 10 educational specialists and 34 doctorate degrees. Fall commencement is the graduation exercise for students who completed degree requirements in both the summer and fall terms.
Known for his enthusiasm and good humor, Dr. Sebastian has inspired and encouraged four decades of University of South Alabama students in the study of geography. A legendary figure in the University's academic history, Sebastian is often mentioned as a fondly remembered teacher and mentor whenever alumni gather to discuss their years at USA.
Over the years, his infectious enthusiasm for teaching and learning has earned Sebastian a wide range of accolades and awards. In 1990, he received the Outstanding Professor Award from USA's National Alumni Association. He also was named Outstanding Faculty Member that year by Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society. He received the College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award for the 2006-2007 academic year, and the college's Outstanding Service Award in 2007. Throughout four decades of service to the University, Sebastian's commitment to his students has never wavered.
A native of St. Louis, Sebastian received his undergraduate and master's degrees in geography from Saint Louis University in 1963 and 1965, respectively. He completed his doctorate in geography at the University of Northern Colorado in 1977. His dissertation focused on the southern Alabama region he loves and continues to study.
After serving as a park ranger and naturalist on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia in the mid-1960s, Sebastian joined the faculty at USA in 1967. As chairman of the earth sciences department from 1981-2006, Sebastian led his fellow professors and students with aplomb, encouraging them to engage the community in their studies.
Over the years, he mentored elementary school teachers in techniques to excite their students about the study of earth sciences. His enthusiasm for geography knows no age limit, as Sebastian also has led trips for senior citizens across Mobile to various geographic sites of interest.
In honor of his 40 years of service to the University, the faculty and staff in the earth sciences department established an endowed scholarship in his name. The faculty also has created the Glenn Sebastian Nature Trail Endowed Preservation Fund, ensuring that USA's on-campus nature trail is forever preserved for the enjoyment of students and the USA community. They presented Sebastian with these honors this summer at a retirement reception, which saluted his life's work in service to the University.
Even in his retirement, Sebastian continues to teach an undergraduate class, inspiring yet another generation of University of South Alabama students in the study of geography.
PARKING / SHUTTLE INFORMATION
For the graduating students, there will be reserved parking in the parking lot across from the Student Recreation Center on Jaguar Drive, which is located behind the Mitchell College of Business. Admittance to the Physical Education Building is limited to graduating students only.
Handicapped parking will be limited but is available for students, family and friends. Entrance to this parking lot will be from Old Shell Road only (behind the Mitchell Center). Proper tags must be visible for access to this lot.
SHUTTLE SERVICES (for family and guests)
Lighted (LED) signage will be set up on University Boulevard and Old Shell Road, which will direct traffic to the shuttle/parking areas. In addition, yellow directional parking signage will be displayed.
SHUTTLE TIMES: Shuttle services will run from noon to 6 p.m.
SHUTTLE PICKUP POINTS: University Commons, Gamma Residence Hall parking lot, and the parking lot east of the Computer Science Building.