Georgia Southwestern honors the late Jamal Floyd with posthumous degree

Published 3:31 pm Thursday, May 16, 2024

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by Chelsea Collins

Director of Marketing and Communications

Department of University Relations

 The late Jamal Floyd of Americus was awarded a posthumous degree at Georgia Southwestern State University’s (GSW) Spring Commencement Ceremony on Fri., May 10. His mother, Angela Floyd, accepted the framed degree onstage to a standing ovation from the crowd.

A designated seat in Row 7, where Floyd would have sat, was adorned with his customized stole and a picture of him. Floyd, a visual arts major, was set to graduate this May alongside several of his Chi Phi fraternity brothers and close friends, but sadly passed in September 2023.

The ceremony recognized 279 spring graduates earning their bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Computing, College of Education, and College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Among the diverse graduate population, there were students from 20 states and ten countries ranging in age from 19 to 72 – some stepping foot on campus for the first time, as they were fully online. Of the 195 undergraduate students, 73 were the first to earn a degree in their family.

State Representative Patty Marie Stinson served as the keynote speaker, encouraging graduates to “Show me what you got!”

The Macebearer was John LeJeune, Ph.D., president of Faculty Senate and associate professor of political science, and the Grand Marshal was Alexander Yemelyanov, Ph.D., professor of computer science.

The ceremony was livestreamed and recorded on GSW’s YouTube channel. Pictures from the day can be found in GSW’s Graduation | Spring 2024 Facebook album.