University to Host Spring Commencement on May 9

(May 6, 2015) – Armstrong State University will graduate more than 770 students on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the university's Spring Commencement at the Savannah Civic Center, located in downtown Savannah at 301 E. Oglethorpe St.

The processional for will begin at 9:45 a.m., with the commencement ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. Joseph A. Buck, III will serve as the commencement speaker.

Buck is a dedicated member of the Savannah and Armstrong State University community. Throughout his professional career, he has remained committed to higher education and currently holds the position of executive champion of Savannah Graduates, a new community-wide initiative focused on creating a more educated workforce in Chatham County.

Buck has an Ed.D. in University Administration from the University of Georgia, an M.S. in Higher Education from Florida State University and a B.A. in Sociology from Auburn University.

After marrying his wife Marilyn in 1967, Buck moved to Savannah in 1968 to become Armstrong's director of student activities. Throughout his 39-year career at the university, he held a number of other positions including dean of student affairs, vice president for student affairs and vice president for student affairs emeritus.

After his retirement in 2006, he and Marilyn established the Joseph A. and Marilyn M. Buck Leadership Scholarship at Armstrong. The scholarship is awarded to a freshman who exhibits exemplary leadership qualities.

In addition to his work at Armstrong, Buck has always been committed to education, serving as the president of the Savannah-Chatham Board of Public Education from 2007 to 2015. He served as president of the Georgia College Personnel Association (GCPA) and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) and has been executive director of SACSA for the last 14 years.

He is president and chair of the board of directors for Leadership Savannah and a past member of the board of trustees for Leadership Georgia. He is also a community leader who has volunteered in a variety of capacities including serving as Sunday school teacher at Isle of Hope United Methodist Church, former chair of the Administrative Board and Council on Ministries, past trustee of the Georgia Public Education Foundation, past president of the Rotary Club of Savannah East and past chair of the board of directors and general campaign chairman for the United Way of the Coastal Empire.

In addition to Buck's professional experience and service, he has won a number of prestigious awards including the Rotarian of the Year Award for the Savannah district, the United Way Spirit of Volunteerism Award and the General James Oglethorpe Award. In 2014, he was inducted to the Junior Achievement Savannah Business Hall of Fame.

Buck is the proud father of Joe IV, a United Methodist minister, and Sarah, an assistant principal.