Columbia Southern University to Welcome Record Number of Graduates to Commencement 10/7/2019 ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – On Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, the Foley Event Center at OWA will echo with cheers and shouts as more than 4,000 graduates, families and friends celebrate Columbia Southern University’s 2019 commencement ceremonies. The university will host a 9 a.m. ceremony to recognize graduates who are receiving a doctoral or master’s degree, as well as a 1 p.m. ceremony to recognize graduates who are receiving a bachelor’s or associate degree. Both ceremonies will feature a keynote address from Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star player and team co-owner Lisa Leslie. Leslie, who has won four gold medals as part of Team USA, is one the WNBA’s most successful players. In 2001, Leslie was the first WNBA player to win the regular season MVP, the All-Star Game MVP and the playoff MVP in the same season. In 2002, she became the WNBA all-time leading scorer and led the Los Angeles Sparks to a second championship. In addition to its commencement ceremonies, CSU is hosting a service project benefitting USO Northwest Florida on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, at 21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, AL, 36561. According to Vicki Barnes, CSU director of community and alumni relations, the project will allow graduates and their guests to decorate and fill comfort bags for military men and women traveling to and from Northwest Florida. The university’s goal is to assemble 550 bags during the university’s annual Open House. “Service members who will receive these bags will know that CSU graduates and their families are thanking them for their service,” said Barnes. “We are hoping these bags bring a smile to their faces and act as a morale booster as they begin or return from their trip to the area.” For more information about CSU’s commencement ceremonies or events, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Commencement. Interview inquiries may be sent to Anthony.Cornealius@ColumbiaSouthern.edu.