2017 CSU Commencement Ceremonies

CSU is pleased to announce the 2017 Commencement Ceremonies will be held October 27, 2017 at the Foley Event Center at OWA in Foley, Alabama at 10 a.m. CST.

Registration for the 2017 Commencement Ceremony is now closed.


Students must comply with the following criteria to participate in the CSU Commencement Ceremony:

  • Students must have submitted a petition to graduate and have received audit results.
  • Students must have completed all graduation requirements or have submitted their enrollment registrations for any remaining course(s) required for program completion at the time of commencement registration.
  • Students who participate in the commencement ceremony and have not completed all of their graduation requirements are not eligible to be designated as graduating with honors.

Graduates must submit a $135 ceremony fee along with the commencement registration form to participate. Friends and family are welcome to attend the commencement ceremony, and each graduate can request up to 6 tickets at no additional cost. Additional tickets beyond 6 can be purchased for $25 each. Please note that as you fill out the registration form, you must request your guest tickets. This ensures we have an accurate head count and can allow as many graduates to participate as possible. Once seating is filled and we have reached maximum capacity, registration will be closed.‚Äč

Portions of this event will be filmed and photographed and may be used for CSU marketing, advertising and general promotion efforts. The deadline to register for commencement is September 18, 2017 or when capacity is reached, whichever comes first.

CSU Commencement Speaker Erin Gruwell

Keynote Speaker — Erin Gruwell

Teacher, author, and the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation.

By fostering an educational philosophy that values and promotes diversity, Erin transformed her students’ lives. She encouraged them to re-think rigid beliefs about themselves and others, reconsider daily decisions, and ultimately re-chart their futures. Erin and her students captured their collective journey in The Freedom Writers Diary.

Erin founded the Freedom Writers Foundation where she currently teaches educators around the world how to implement her innovative lesson plans into their own classrooms. She created the Freedom Writers Methodology, a progressive teaching philosophy and curricula designed to achieve excellence from all students.

Erin continues to fight for equality in education and inspires teachers and students all over the world with her work.

Order Your Class RingRegalia Information

Graduates will need to purchase regalia for the commencement ceremony.  You can order your regalia through www.herffjones.com/college/columbiasouthern.  This order will be shipped directly to you.  Make sure to bring everything when you come to commencement.

Regalia Package Pricing
Pricing for the Regalia Package
Item Price
Associates/Bachelors Basic Package $32.70
Bachelors with Honors $39.95
Masters with Hood $56.35
Doctors with Hood $67.75

Students are encouraged to place their regalia order by 9/18/17 to ensure delivery in time for commencement. 

Open House

Hosted by the Alumni Association

Date: Thursday Oct. 26, 2017
Time: 10:30am - 2:30pm
Location: Columbia Southern University
21982 University Lane
Orange Beach, AL 36561

  • Enjoy getting to know your fellow Knights while having the opportunity to tell us YOUR CSU story!
  • President Mayes, faculty and staff will be on campus for a CSU greeting you'll never forget while you tour the campus.
  • Sir Maximus will be on-site!
  • Members of the CSU Gulf Coast Alumni Chapter will be ready to talk to you about what it means to stay close to your alma mater.
  • For more information, contact: CSU-Alumni@columbiasouthern.edu
  • Portions of this event will be filmed and photographed and may be used for CSU marketing, advertising and general promotion efforts.


Hampton Inn & Suites
1701 Gulf Shores Pkwy
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Group Code: Call and mention the CSU Commencement
Rates: $75/night (10/25/17 – 10/28/17)
Reservations must be made by 09/25/17 to receive the group rate.

Microtel Inn and Suites Gulf Shores
3600 Gulf Shores Pkwy
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Group Code: Call and mention the CSU Commencement
$49/night (10/25/17 and 10/26/17)
$69/night (10/27/17 and 10/28/17)
Reservations must be made by 09/25/17 to receive the group rate.

Courtyard Marriott
3750 Gulf Shores Pkwy.
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Group Code: If calling, use code CSUS. If reserving online, use code CSUCSUQ.
Rates from $95/night

Perdido Beach Resort
27200 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Group Code: 14905
Starting at $129/night (10/25/17 and 10/26/17)*
Starting at $154/night (10/27/17 and 10/28/17)*
*Prices will vary by room type and location.

Staybridge Suites
3947 Gulf Shores Pkwy
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Group Code: Columbia Southern University
Rates: 30% off current rate – call for specific pricing.

Additional information will be updated as it becomes available.

For questions about commencement, please contact Nickie Cooper at Nickie.Cooper@columbiasouthern.edu or Teresa Thomas at Teresa.Thomas@columbiasouthern.edu