Board of Regents member Kessell Stelling Jr., president and CEO of Synovus Financial Corp., will address SPSU graduates on Sat., Dec. 15, at the university’s 105th Commencement in the Gymnasium.
This is the largest fall graduation in SPSU history, with 383 degrees to be handed out to candidates. The School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering Technology and Management will award degrees to their graduates at a ceremony that begins at 10 a.m. The 2 p.m. program will award degrees to graduates of the School of Architecture and Construction Management, the School of Computing and Software Engineering and the School of Engineering.
Take special note of the gowns the degree candidates will be wearing – each is made out of 29 recycled plastic bottles but feels like soft polyester to the touch. Everything about the gowns is recyclable, and after the ceremony, graduates will deposit them in a collection box. SPSU’s fall graduates will keep more than 11,000 plastic bottles out of landfills by wearing these gowns.
Regent Stelling began his banking career with Synovus, a financial services company with $31 billion in assets based in Columbus, in 2006 when the firm purchased Riverside Bancshares, Inc., and merged with Bank of North Georgia, headquartered in Alpharetta. He rose from president and CEO of the combined banks to his current position in 2009 and was named chairman of the Synovus Board of Directors in 2011.
A Georgia native, Regent Stelling is currently a member of the board of directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where he served as chairman in 2008. He is also a board member of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, where he served as interim president from 1994-1995 and chairman in 1998 and 2006.
Regent Stelling earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in banking and finance from UGA and attended the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.