Northwestern State University will hold its Spring Commencement exercises Friday, May 10 in Prather Coliseum.
At 10 a.m., graduates from the Gallaspy Family College of Education and Human Development, the Louisiana Scholars’ College and the College of Arts and Sciences except for those in general studies will receive diplomas. At 3 p.m., graduates in general studies along with graduates from the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health and the College of Business and Technology will be recognized.
The commencement speaker will be Jay Dardenne, commissioner of the Louisiana Division of Administration. Dardenne was appointed commissioner in January 2016 by Gov. John Bel Edwards. In this capacity, he serves as the state’s chief administrative officer.
Dardenne was elected twice as Louisiana’s lieutenant governor. He previously served four years as secretary of state, 15 years as a state senator and three years as a Baton Rouge Metro Councilman.
As lieutenant governor, he headed the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, where he created the Louisiana: Pick Your Passion campaign and led the state’s tourism efforts to four consecutive record-breaking years, the first such increases since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck in 2005.
Dardenne conducts many special presentations about Louisiana, including “Why Louisiana Ain’t Mississippi,” a lively and colorful look at Louisiana’s culture, history, music, literature and politics.
He is an attorney and a member of the Baton Rouge High School Hall of Fame, the Louisiana State University Hall of Distinction and the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. He is married to the former Cathy McDonald, and they have two grown sons, John and Matthew.