Georgia Southwestern’s 2016 Fall Commencement a day of reflection as well as celebration
Published 11:52 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016
From STAFF REPORTS
AMERICUS – On a somber day for the campus and local community, Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) held its Fall 2016 Commencement on Dec. 9 and conferred bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees to approximately 400 students.
The event was held in Convocation Hall of the Student Success Center on GSW campus. Registered nurse, co-owner and chief operating officer of Innovative Senior Solutions in Americus, Jessica Wright, delivered the keynote address.
Interim President Charles Patterson, Ph.D., began the ceremony by holding a moment of silence for Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr and Georgia Southwestern Public Safety Officer Jody Smith. He dedicated the ceremony to Smarr and Smith.
“We will commit them forever to our memories and never forget the price they paid while ensuring that our community and our university campus remained a safe place to live and learn,” Patterson said.
Patterson then introduced Wright, a graduate of Darton College, who provided encouragement to the graduates.
“We all have a purpose,” she said. “If you are making a difference, helping and uplifting others, watch how successful you will be.”
Georgia Southwestern is a special place for Wright, as she had 17 members of her family graduate from the university, one being her sister and co-owner, Eshonda Blue.
Faculty Senate President and associate professor of Computing and Mathematics, Chadwick Gugg, Ph.D., served as the Macebearer during commencement. Burchard (Burt) Carter, Ph.D., professor of Geology and Physics, was the Grand Marshal.