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2022 Commencement Ceremony and Events

Alumni Pinning Ceremony & Reception
Wednesday, May 4 | 4 p.m. | Student Union
Pinning Ceremony Live Stream | #SavStatePinning22

ROTC Commissioning Ceremonies
Army - Thursday, May 5 | 1 p.m. | Student Union Ballroom A
Navy - Friday, May 6 | 3 p.m. | Location TBA

200th Undergraduate and Graduate Ceremony
Friday, May 6 | 10 a.m. | T.A. Wright Stadium
Commencement Ceremony Live Stream | Download the 2022 Commencement Program








 Esteemed Speakers

captain-donnie-cochran.pngRetired U.S. Navy Captain Donnie Cochran is the esteemed commencement speaker for the May 6, 2022 graduation ceremony.

Cochran is a 1976 graduate of Savannah State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology and a commission in the United States Navy. His distinguished career includes two tours with the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (the Blue Angels). In September 1985, Cochran was selected as the first African-American pilot to fly with the Blue Angels in their 40-year history. A Blue Angels jet serves as a monument in his honor on SSU’s campus.

Cochran served as the Professor of Naval Science at Florida A&M and Florida State Universities. He retired from the Navy in November 2000 and continued his extraordinary contributions to aviation in the civilian aviation industry. He was a flight training supervisor for United Parcel Services (UPS) and a manager of aviation programs for The Coca-Cola Company for ten years.

Cochran is a decorated Captain, receiving many honors including the Distinguished Graduate Award from Savannah State University, 1989 Black Engineer of the Year, two Legion of Merit Medals, three Meritorious Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, and an Air Medal.

Most recently, Cochran was honored by former Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in the renaming of the previous Pelham’s Detention Center to the Donnie Cochran Community Complex. He was also inducted into the Georgia Military Veteran Hall of Fame. In February 2019, Cochran was the recipient of the University System of Georgia Foundation's Regents’ Hall of Fame Alumni & Distinguished Friends award. Cochran was also recently inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.

 Graduate Resources for Review:

Commencement is a significant moment for graduates. It marks a pinnacle of achievement, and Savannah State University celebrates the occasion with formal pomp and circumstance. The commencement committee is working to create a positive solution for all involved, so that our student’s accomplishments can be celebrated with family and/or friends in attendance.

To comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, a few accommodations are necessary: 

If there are any concerns about your degree requirements, please contact your academic advisor. Questions related to diplomas or the application for graduation can be directed to the Office of the Registrar at


View photos from the 2021 fall commencement ceremony.