East Georgia State College held their Fall Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the Gymnasium on the Swainsboro campus. The guest speaker for the event was Senator Nikema Williams, while the Alumni speaker was John Allen Bailey. The student representative was Megan Bryant.
Alumni speaker John Allen Bailey spoke first at the ceremony. He spoke to the graduates and guests attending about how things have changed since he graduated and how the new graduating class will make changes moving forward. He mentioned innovations like the internet and cell phones.
“I hear people say I want to go back to the good ol’ days,” said Bailey. “I don’t. I think our good ol’ days are ahead of us and you (graduates) will be part of it and for that, you should really be excited. Your future is nothing but exciting.”
He continued by offering the graduates encouragement to continue doing great things and to never give up.
“Everything is out there for you. You just have to go get it and work hard and try to achieve it,” Bailey said. “Set a goal. Put a goal in mind. Set it and work toward that goal. Ste that bar high. Don’t be scared. If you miss it, that’s okay. You can always adjust your target.”
Megan Bryant, the student speaker, began her speech by congratulating the class of 2019.
“East Georgia is producing future nurses, counselors, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and most importantly, future leaders,” Bryant said. “However, for these future leaders to be able to sit here proudly in this moment, you had to go through many adversities to get to this point. Late night studying for the test the next day, long commutes, financial aid hardships, rushing to be the first to enroll in classes before they fill up, the motivation to stay focused, or simply keeping your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health all intact while being a college student thriving for success.”
Senator Nikema Williams spoke last before the graduates received their degrees. She represents Georgia’s 39th district including the cities of Atlanta, East Point, College Park, Union City and South Fulton. She serves on the influential Economic Development and Tourism, Retirement, State and Local Government Operations, Urban Affairs, and Special Judiciary committees.
Senator Williams started her speech by telling about her journey into politics. She was planning to attend medical school, but politics kept calling her name.
“I finally realized that wasn’t my path,” she said. “Politics was calling my name and I had to live out loud and on purpose.”
She continued saying it took a lot of grit and a lot of time to get to her accomplishments.
“I was determined to make it in politics and here I am today. I don’t know if I’ve quite made it yet, but I’m definitely making it work.”
Senator Williams then challenged the students to be the now, not just the future. She told them to lead from where they are now in their life.
“I want to challenge you to take the lessons you’ve learned on campus here and use them to help follow your passions out loud and on purpose. A concept that is always resonated very deeply for me in my life and by that, I mean be authentically you. Whatever that is.”
She concluded her speech by saying, “Be the best you, you can be. No one else can be you but you.”
Students earning the Associate of Arts Degree were Joy L. Allen, Kelly W. Allen III, Zykia Tyshiana Archie, Madison Beth Bartko, Chamique Tyshawn Belton, Stephanie Nicole Bradford, Hannah Levan Sara Brown, Tayla Shawntel Brown, Deja Nycole Bryant, Demarion Tyrell Camp, Celena Chyane Chance, Morgan D. Coleman, Shykema K. Collins, Hannah Chong-Alexis Cranman, Corrina Nicole Dease, Shamya Michelle Dinkins, Autumn Disher, Anna Ellington, Brandon Welton Ellison, Brittany Farrow, Martinique Nikole Franks, Bryan Christopher Gobourne, Antondria Nyjae Grant, Brittany Emond Gullatte, Devin Austin Haley, Michael Foster Harper, Niaya Cherri Harris, Jakeria Cherelle Hines, Tonquavius Cortez Horton, Jerrelle Q. Hoto-Madison, Joseph B. Holloway, Tyshay Amari Howard, Sharkevia Huff, Tyshia Kenobia Skylynn Marie Hughes, Nannette M. Hutton, Taryn Danae Jackson, Atira Tymesha Jenkins, Tre Johnson, Keasia Niandra Jalise Johnson, Tyler Cornelius Johnson, Joshua A. Jordan, John Wesley Kight III, Kacey Melinda Koneman, Felicia Tosin Koami, Jelani Dante Lee, Jailin Tunisha Lewis, Vicky Ngo Lieu, Lesley Paola Limon, Martin Ricky Mays Jr., Jordan Lawayne McCullough, Alphonso London McKiver, Angelique McLaughlin, Hagan O. Mercer, Juanito Antione Mitchell, Carly Lynn Moore, Jasmine Kierra Moore, Quentarious Raquon Murray, Hannah Nicole Parris, Alisia Maria Nunn, Ashlyn Elizabeth Oglesby, Lorah Rose Parrish, Adrianna Lane Paulk, Miranda Cecilia Peralez, William Andrew Peterman, Jackson Alexander Ramirez, Merari Nohemi Resendiz, Maria Elena Reyes, Tanehsa Lynette Rice, Datreon Leshon Robinson, Sheila Sakha, Cherrie L. Schultz, Aaron Kimball Shaw, Chelsy Nicole Smith, Courtney NyCole Smith, Shawn Corban Smith, Savanna Lynn Sorrells, Kayla Michelle Spier, Hannah Stanfield, Jerry Stephens, Kaisha Dianne Strickland, Andrew Timothy Thompson, Tyreek Jamar Thompson, Olivia Alice Turner, Vicky Lee Turner, Nikita Tepetate Vaquero, Bethany Zade Way, Jessica Marie Webb, Amanda L. Whitaker, Rachel Abigail Wiggins, Audra Imani Williams, Makayla Z. Wilder and Kelsey Rachel Yongue.
Students receiving their Associate of Science Degree were Eric Martin Bowen, Douglas Wade Chesser, Temperance Tacori Holder, Rebecca Lynn Mason, Hannah Nicole Parrish, Adrienne Alexandra Prophet, Lizbeth Inez Rodriguez and John Michael Sanders.
Students receiving their Bachelor of Arts in Fire and Emergency Services Administration were James W. Beck and Jeffery Adams.
Earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology was John Michael Sanders.
Students earning their Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing were Stacey Marie Clifton, Kashunda Warthen Denson, Samantha Jo Gambrell, Chelsea McKenna Hadden, Laquita Ross James, Samantha Barr Walker and Lawanda Williams.
Congratulations to all of our Fall 2019 graduates!