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George Hooks to keynote GSW Commencement May 6

AMERICUS — Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) hold sits Spring 2016 Commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, May 6 in Convocation Hall of the Student Success Center. The commencement speaker will be George Hooks. An Americus insurance agent, Hooks served 32 years in the Georgia General Assembly.
Hooks was first elected to the Georgia state house of representatives in 1980, and served for 10 years before he ran for the state Senate seat vacated by Sen. Lewis “Bud” McKenzie’s retirement in 1990. Hooks served in the state Senate for 22 years representing the 14th District and earning the title “Dean of the Senate” for his status as the member with the most seniority. Upon his retirement from the legislature, he was named by Governor Nathan Deal to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
During his tenure in the General Assembly, Hooks received numerous legislative awards. He was been named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Public Health Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, the Georgia Hospital Association, and he was named National Legislator of the Year in 1999, by the American School Counselor Association. In 2008, he was selected for the Outstanding Elected Official Grand Award by the Georgia Urban Forest Council. Hooks also received the Legislative Service Award in both 1991, and 2006, from the Georgia Municipal Association and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.
A sixth-generation native of Sumter County, Hooks graduated from Americus High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University. He also holds an honorary law degree from Mercer University. Hooks is married to the former Kay Felder Allen of Atlanta, and he has two adult children, Bardin and Mary Ann and a grand-daughter Anna Gail.
Faculty Senate President and Professor of Geology Samuel T. Peavy, Ph.D., will serve as the Macebearer during commencement. Jeffrey Waldrop, Ph.D., will be the Grand Marshal.
Over 200 students are expected to graduate. Limited seating will be available. Guests are encouraged to arrive early.