Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr. (left) and Frank Barragan



AASU to Award Honorary Degree to Frank Barragan


Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr., AASU Class of 1953 and former chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, will deliver the commencement address.

(April 30, 2010) Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU) will award an Honorary Doctor of Letters to Frank Barragan during the university’s spring commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 8 in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Arena in the Savannah Civic Center, 301 West Oglethorpe Avenue.

Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr., AASU Class of 1953 and former chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, will deliver the commencement address. Gignilliat has served in the Georgia House of Representatives and on the University System of Georgia Foundation Board of Directors. He spent 40 years with Savannah Electric & Power before retiring as CEO.

Approximately 675 degree candidates will be on hand, representing the university's College of Education, College of Health Professions, College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Technology.

AASU President Linda M. Bleicken and senior members of the university administration will confer the degrees. Roman M. Cibirka, vice president for instruction and associate provost for academic affairs at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), will confer the AASU-MCG Doctor of Therapy Degrees.

The AASU Wind Ensemble, conducted by Mark B. Johnson, will provide the musical accompaniment. Lucinda D. Schultz, professor of music, will lead in the singing of the national anthem and the university alma mater.

About Frank Barragan
Frank Barragan’s distinguished career is one of exemplary service to his family, profession,
community and country. A native of Savannah, he enrolled at Armstrong Junior College and served as class president in 1937 and 1938. After graduation in 1938, he dutifully served his country during the latter part of WWII, joining the efforts of the U.S. Eighth Air Force from 1943-45.

Upon his return to the United States, Barragan read law at Johnson Law School and was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1951. He joined the Savannah Gas Company, rising to executive vice president, an office he held from 1959 through 1966. Barragan was an active leader in many
civic organizations, holding prominent positions with the Savannah Kiwanis Club, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, the Chatham County Board of Education, and the United Community Appeal which is now the United Way of the Coastal Empire.

In 1967, Barragan became president of the North Carolina Natural Gas Corporation and moved to Fayetteville, NC. Under his leadership, the corporation prospered and he gained industry-wide recognition, as evidenced by his election to president of the Southern Gas Association in 1972 and 1973. Barragan is chairman emeritus of the North Carolina Natural Gas Corporation, having served as chairman of the board from 1989-1993 and president and CEO from 1967-1989.

While in Fayetteville, Barragan continued his practice of leadership in many organizations, serving with the Fayetteville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Salvation Army, the Fayetteville YMCA, and the Board of Trustees of Methodist College. In 2008, he was elected trustee emeritus of Methodist University. Barragan has had a strong connection to Armstrong Atlantic State University over several decades. He is married to Ruth Klingon Barragan, a 1940 graduate of Armstrong Junior College. Their daughter, Susan Barragan Fitzpatrick, is a 1963 graduate of
Armstrong State College. He is past president of the Armstrong Atlantic State University Alumni Board of Directors, was awarded the Armstrong Atlantic State University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994, and is a former member of the Armstrong Atlantic State University Foundation Board of Trustees.

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