Proud weekend for graduates, families

College graduation season kicks off this weekend.

Over the next few weeks thousands of Palmetto State students will walk across stages after earning bachelor’s and associate degrees.

Last year about 47,000 students graduated from public and private two- and four-year schools, according to the state Commission on Higher Education. That was up from about 44,000 in the 2009-10 school year, and 42,000 in the 2008-09 school year.

7 p.m. Friday. Speaker — two student speakers: Justin Morris and Faith Callum

7 p.m. Friday. Speaker — actor Terrance Howard

3 p.m. Friday, (business, mass communications, nursing, pharmacy and public health graduates). Speaker — Jane Lubchenco, administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

9:30 a.m. Saturday, (Honors College, and arts and sciences graduates). Speaker — Glenn Tilton, chairman of JPMorgan Chase Midwest

3 p.m. Saturday, (education, engineering and computing, hospitality, music and social work graduates). Speaker — Walter Edgar, retiring USC history professor

9 a.m. Saturday. Speaker — retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Harvey Schiller

4 p.m. Saturday. Speaker — Jonathan Zucker, president of InterTech Group

10 a.m. Saturday. Speaker — Steven Semes, associate professor, the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame

10 a.m. Saturday. Speaker — U.S. Rep. Tim Scott

11 a.m. Saturday, . Speaker — none

9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 11. Speaker — none

10 a.m. and 4 p.m. May 12. Speaker — Native American rights Attorney Arlinda Locklear

12:30 p.m. May 12. Speaker — Bucky Askew, consultant on legal education of the American Bar Association

9 a.m. May 18. Speaker — Neurosurgeon Ben Carson