2018 CSU Commencement Ceremony

CSU is pleased to announce the 2018 Commencement Ceremony will be held October 19, 2018 at the Foley Event Center at OWA in Foley, Alabama at 9 a.m. CST.


View 2018 CSU Commencement Ceremony



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 $145 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 four (4) tickets at no additional cost. Three (3) additional tickets can be purchased for $25 each. The graduate should not be included in the guest count and will not need a ticket. Additionally, small children that will be sitting in the lap of an adult and not seated in their own chair also do not require a ticket. 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 and a wait list will be opened. ‚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 7, 2018 or when capacity is reached, whichever comes first.  Please note that the deadline for CITC graduates to register is August 15, 2018.

Keynote Speaker – J.R. Martinez

Jose Rene "J.R." Martinez is an American actor, author, motivational speaker, and retired U.S. Army soldier. In March of 2003, Martinez was deployed to Iraq. In April he sustained severe burns to more than 34 percent of his body when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb. Since his recovery, Martinez has since become a highly sought-after motivational speaker. He has traveled around the country speaking about his experiences to corporations, veterans groups, schools and other organizations.

Martinez began his acting career on the Emmy Award winning daytime drama All My Children. Since then he's appeared on numerous television shows. Many remember him best as the season 13 champion on Dancing with the Stars. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit". Martinez serves as a spokesperson for Operation Finally Home, as well as for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, and Glasswing International.

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 $82.75

Students are encouraged to place their regalia order by 9/07/18 to ensure delivery in time for commencement.

Pre-Commencement Activities

Open House

Hosted by the Alumni Association

Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
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 Styron, 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 and entertainment for the kids!
  • 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.

Service Project Benefiting the USO

Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Foley Event Center; 1001 E. Pride Blvd., Foley, AL 36535

Join us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary with our first service project in conjunction with Commencement!

We will have tents and tables set up in the parking lot of the Foley Event Center.  Stop by to decorate and fill a welcome bag and write a card for soldiers traveling to the Gulf Coast.  

For more information, contact: Nickie.Cooper@ColumbiaSouthern.edu




TownePlace Suites Foley at OWA
1070 N. OWA Blvd
Foley, AL 36535
Room Block Rate: $129/night
Group Code: COL
Room Block Cut Off – September 28, 2018

Hampton Inn
3152 Abbey Lane
Foley, AL 36535
Room Block Rate: $89/night
Group Code: Use link above or call and reference Columbia Southern University Graduation.
Room Block Cut Off – September 17, 2018

Gulf Shores / Orange Beach

Hilton Garden Inn Orange Beach Beachfront
23092 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Room Block Rate: $131/night
Call and Reference: Columbia Southern University Graduation
Room Block Cut Off Date: September 18, 2018

Holiday Inn Express
24700 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Room Block Rate: $113/night
Group Code: CSU
Room Block Cut Off Date: September 7, 2018

Island House Hotel
26650 Perdido Beach Blvd.
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Room Block Rate: $209/night
Group Code: Columbia Southern University
Room Block Cut Off Date: September 17, 2018

Hotel Indigo
22843 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Room Block Rates:
Standard - $115/night
King Suite (Park View) - $125/night
King Suite (Beach View) - $135/night
King Suite with Balcony (Park View) - $155/night
King Suite with Balcony (Beach View) - $185/night
Group Code: Call and ask for CSU Commencement rate.
Room Block Cut Off Date: September 17, 2018