East Georgia State College will hold their 60th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium on the Swainsboro Campus. Commencement Speaker will be Regent Laura Marsh, while Zahnay Smoak will serve as student speaker and EGSC alumna Harley Strickland will serve as alumni speaker.
Commencement speaker Laura Marsh is a member of the law firm Taulbee, Rushing, Snipes, Marsh & Hodgin, LLC in Statesboro, Georgia. She began her legal career at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City and worked as an investment banker and counsel to the capital markets group at Lehman Brothers, Inc.
From 2012 until 2016, Marsh served as Vice Chairman and then Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bulloch Academy, a private K4-12 secondary school. She is a member and past President of the Statesboro Service League and has served on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County and the Bulloch County Chapter of the American Heart Association. Marsh is a recipient of a Business Mentor Award from the Georgia Southern University College of Business Administration and of a Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award. Marsh is active in her community and has established and continues to provide pro bono legal services to numerous charitable and civic organizations.
Marsh earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Florida State University where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law. While attending the University of Georgia, Marsh was a member of the Editorial Board of the Georgia Law Review, the Intrastate and National Moot Court teams, Blue Key, Phi Kappa Phi, Order of the Coif, Order of Barristers and a Pupil of the Lumpkin Inn of Court.
She and her husband, Randy, have two daughters and are active members of the Statesboro First United Methodist Church.
Student speaker Zahnay Smoak is the 20-year-old daughter of Nicole Smoak. She was born in New Jersey and moved to Georgia when she was a little girl. She has three siblings, Geneva, Phylicia and Robert. Smoak is a first-generation college student who began attending East Georgia State College in the summer of 2019. After she graduates, she plans on transferring to Georgia Southern University to pursue her degree in Political Science with a focus in Pre-Law to one day fulfill her dream of becoming a judge.
Alumni speaker Harley Strickland in a native of Evans County. She graduated from Pinewood Christian Academy in 2013. After graduation, she enrolled in East Georgia State College where she got her core before transferring to Georgia Southern University.
Strickland is a cum laude graduate of Georgia Southern University majoring in journalism and minoring in public relations. During her time at Georgia Southern, she was an anchor and reporter for Eagle News which earned her the Rising Star award and the Lois Scholarship for the Department of Communication Arts. She was active in student media organizations and the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Strickland was a member of the Miss America Organization for many years. She competed at the state level multiple times and helped raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Her platform is hospice care and she volunteers regularly with patients and their families. One of the titles that took her to the Miss Georgia Pageant in Columbus was the title of Miss East Georgia State College in 2014.
Competing in the pageant system helped Strickland become more involved with media. She has been featured in national tv commercials and movies. After obtaining her journalism degree, she started working with WTOC-TV in Savannah, Ga. She has covered numerous stories in Southeast Georgia on a variety of topics. Before working for WTOC, Harley was the reporter for The Produce News, a news source about North American produce. She traveled the United States attending
produce shows and reporting the significance of the produce industry.
Come help East Georgia State College celebrate their Spring 2019 graduates at this semester’s Commencement Ceremony!