University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
April 18, 2012
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner to Address USA Spring Commencement
Ceremony set for 2 p.m. at Mitchell Center

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner  
U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner will give the University of South Alabama’s Spring 2012 Commencement address on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m., at the USA Mitchell Center.

The ceremony marks the beginning for 1,347 graduates, bringing the total degrees awarded for the academic year to 2,795. USA has awarded 72,586 degrees throughout its history.

At the Spring Commencement ceremony, USA will award 933 bachelor’s degrees, 265 master’s degrees, 78 doctor of medicine degrees, 23 educational specialists and 48 doctorate degrees.

Additionally, USA and the Mobile County Public School System will partner again this year to provide live streaming of the University’s Spring Commencement.  The live coverage begins May 12 at 2 p.m., CDST, on the University's Web site at Recorded video of the event will be available online at the same address following the live Web cast.

Video streaming of all MCPSS schools to hold graduation inside the USA Mitchell Center may be seen at A high school graduation schedule is available on the same Web site. Only Citronelle High School's graduation will not be video streamed because
it is not held inside the Mitchell Center.

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner

First elected to Congress by the people of Alabama’s First District in 2002, U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner’s priorities include a conservative approach to government spending, a pro-business mindset, and stellar constituent service.
During the past ten years, Rep. Bonner, in coordination with local and state leaders, has been proactive in helping to successfully attract new industries to the district, instilling growth and creativity in the 21st century business community.  He has worked aggressively alongside the Governor’s office in recruiting several significant economic projects to the state – projects that will continue to fuel the economic engine of Alabama for generations to come. 

Rep. Bonner has been a staunch supporter of all aspects of the University of South Alabama’s growth, including strong support of the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute.

A member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Bonner has served as a vigilant guardian of the taxpayers’ money.  On the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Bonner serves on the subcommittees of Commerce, Justice and Science,  Defense and Financial Services.

After only three terms in office, Rep. Bonner was selected by the House Republican Leadership to the position of Ranking Republican of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, more commonly known as the Ethics Committee. His oversight over matters relating to the Code of Official Conduct of the House has recently placed him in the national spotlight.  For this Congress, he was named Chairman of the House Ethics Committee.

Born in Selma and reared in the town of Camden, in rural Wilcox County, Rep. Bonner grew up in a family where public service was looked upon as an obligation, not an option.

His father, the late Judge Josiah Robins Bonner, led Wilcox County during the tense 1960s and early 1970s. Other relatives, including his grandmother and great-uncle, served with distinction in both local and state government. His mother, an Army nurse during World War II, was often seen volunteering at local blood drives. 

A congressional staffer for 18 years, Rep. Bonner served as both press secretary and chief of staff to his predecessor, former Congressman Sonny Callahan.  In 1997, he and his family moved back to southwest Alabama where he became one of the few congressional chiefs of staff to reside in the district. 

Upon returning home, Rep. Bonner became active in the life of Mobile and southwest Alabama. Today, he is a member of the Rotary Club of Mobile, the Mobile Lions Club, Mobile United and the Touchdown Club. 

He has also served as a member of the board of directors for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and Leadership Mobile.

In 2000, the College of Communications at the University of Alabama honored him as their Outstanding Alumnus in Public Relations. He was a member of Leadership Mobile, Class of 2000, where his classmates elected him co-president. 

Rep. Bonner and his wife, Janée, have two children. The family resides in Mobile and attends St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Parking and Shuttle Info:

For graduating students, there will be reserved parking in the parking lot located behind the Mitchell College of Business on Jaguar Drive. 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.

Guests entering at Stadium Drive should park in the Gamma/ Engineering Parking Lot.
Parking signs are posted throughout the campus and shuttle service is available if you park in the posted areas. Directional parking signs will be displayed. 

The shuttle service will run from noon - 6 p.m. It will deliver guests to the Mitchell Center.

Shuttle pickup and drop-off points are University Commons, Gamma Dorm parking lot, Humanities Building parking lot, Administration parking lot, Jaguar Drive, and the parking lot east of the Computer Science Building.


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