Special to the Journal
Start a conversation about music with soon-to-be Albany State University graduate Carlos McKibben and his face lights up. His musical talent was apparent at age 2. At the family church, his mom played the piano; and he became enamored with the keys too, committing to hours of rehearsals at Lincoln Elementary School, Highland and Robert Cross Middle Schools and Westover High School. McKibben took over the music ministry at church. After graduation, he continued perfecting his craft playing the alto saxophone at ASU as a music education major. Identified as a fine arts standout in the freshman year, he performed in the marching band, the jazz band, the woodwind ensemble and the Concert Chorale. He also served as song director for Phi Mu Alpha, the National Music Fraternity, Incorporated. Earlier this year in February, while satisfying graduation requirements as a student teacher, a serious car crash almost claimed his life. A severe brain injury caused the musician to wonder if he’d ever walk again. His spring commencement would have to wait.Carlos watched recordings of the graduation ceremony in a wheelchair, and saw pictures and his name printed in the program. Undaunted by the physical challenges, he never gave up the will to walk. After 5 months of intensive therapy, Carlos won’t miss his graduation this time. He will strut across the stage. ASU’s 2012 Fall Commencement is Dec. 8 at 9:45 a.m. in the Albany James H. Gray Sr. Civic Center.
According to latest reports, ASU expects to award 369 students degrees. There are 275 undergraduates, 8 specialists and 86 master’s degree candidates.
The commencement keynote speaker is Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer at University System of Georgia Dr. Houston Davis. He provides leadership in academic programs and planning, faculty affairs, student affairs, teacher-education initiatives, strategic research and analysis, and information and instructional technology.
Prior to joining the USG, Davis served as associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents. At Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., he worked in academic leadership and was a faculty member.
The Clarksville, Tennessee native received a doctorate degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, a master’s in education from Tennessee State University, also located in Nashville; and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Memphis.
For more information contact the University Communications at (229) 430-4671.