GSW commencement ceremony to be held December 14; Richard Woods to deliver keynote address

Published 2:59 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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By Chelsea Collins


AMERICUS – Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) will hold its Fall 2023 Commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. on Thursday, December 14 in the Convocation Hall of the Student Success Center, also known as the Storm Dome. Approximately 475 students are graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Computing, College of Education and College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The commencement speaker will be Georgia’s State School Superintendent Richard Woods. Elected in 2014, Woods has over 30 years of Pre-K through 12th-grade experience in public education. During his time as State School Superintendent, Woods has remained laser-focused on the classroom and the wellbeing of Georgia’s students. Under his leadership, the state has seen its largest-ever reduction of high-stakes testing requirements, an all-time high graduation rate, a 97% graduation rate for Career Pathway completers, and steady increases in SAT and ACT scores.

Georgia has expanded STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, introduced STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) school certification, and introduced new student opportunities in the areas of personal finance, fine arts, and Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education. The Georgia Department of Education has hired its first-ever employees dedicated to supporting the fine arts and military students, and established an Office of Whole Child Supports, an Office of School Safety and Climate, and an Office of Rural Education and Innovation.

Woods and his wife, Lisha, a retired 30-year educator, are longtime residents of Tifton, Ga.

Doors to the inside of the Convocation Hall will close five minutes before the ceremony. Guests should arrive early and plan accordingly for parking and finding seats. Accessible parking and seating will be available.

The ceremony will be live-streamed on GSW’s YouTube channel for those unable to make it at

Please visit for more information on GSW’s commencement ceremony, including directions on where to park.