On Friday, May 6, 2016, East Georgia State College held their Spring Commencement Ceremony, and it was the largest yet! The Spring Class of 2016 boasted 209 members earning their Associate of Arts degree.
EGSC President Bob Boehmer opened the ceremony, reminding graduates and their families of the value of their degree. “Currently, only about one third of adults in the United States achieve a college degree,” he said. “As you participate in this ceremony, you deserve to take great pride in your graduate as they enter the Academy of Scholars.”
Alumni speaker for the event was Theresa Renew Davis, a 1982 graduate of Emanuel County Junior College and the current Director of the CHOICE Program for Inclusive Learning.
“I’m very pleased to be a part of this,” said Davis. “We’re all in this room sharing the same emotions that you [graduates] have: pride, joy and gratitude.”
She shared memories of how the campus has changed since her graduation and how much the college has grown. She also encouraged new graduates to take part in the Alumni Association.
“Life is a journey and it takes us through winds and hills and valleys. You know right now that you can accomplish anything, because you’ve done it tonight,” she said. “As you leave us, know that we’re still here as alumni, as a school, as a college, as friends and as family. On behalf of the Alumni Association, I’d like to welcome you to that family.”
Miss East Georgia State College 2016, Jessica Dixon, was the student speaker.
“It is an honor for me to be able to welcome you tonight on behalf of the students,” she said. She congratulated the graduates and their families on the next chapter of their lives. “This is a proud moment for everyone sitting in this room tonight. Graduates, this is the moment you’ve waited for. All of your hard work has paid off, and it is now your time to dream bigger. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
“As you go out into the world, remember that it all began here at East Georgia State College,” she said.
State Senator Jesse Stone gave the commencement address. He told the graduates, “Class of 2016, we are here to share your celebration. This is a celebration of your academic success. You have achieved an important milestone, and the skills, wisdom and lessons you learned at your time at East Georgia State College will serve you well in your future endeavors.”
“Things have changed since I was in college, but the principles of diligence, hard work and perseverance are timeless. They have served me well throughout my personal and professional life,” he said. “Now, you’re in a unique position as holders of a degree from East Georgia State College.”
Senator Stone detailed the changes that East Georgia State College has gone through over the years. “To think, many of us in this room have watched this history unfold, and now the Class of 2016 is a part of this history,” he said. “You will continue to make history as you leave here.”
“I urge you to carry on your relentless pursuit of excellence wherever you go,” he continued. “No matter what path you choose, you will encounter failure. However, you will learn that, though a tough pill to swallow, it is a natural part of life. Without failure, we wouldn’t appreciate success. Your career will be filled with both successes and failures. The trick is to learn from your failures and turn them into success.”
Graduates were: Christopher A. Ahmay, James C. Akins, Jimmy M. Akridge, Jarrett S. Alexander, Alexis M. Anderson, Victoria Anthony, Charquita J. Apparicio, Latanji R. Arnett, Michelle A. Badershall, Haleigh N. Baker, Ashley J. Bartley, Christopher M. Beasley, Maggie L. Bell, Mallory N. Bland, Ami E. Boatright, Steven P. Boatright, Joshua A. Bolton, Jeremy X. Bonds, Vance D. Bowen, Courtney A. Brandon, Morgane V. Brantley, Michael C. Braswell, Jimmy C. Brawner, Jasmine J. Brooks, Courtney R. Brown, Kaitlin N. Bruce, Brittany P. Cabrol, Reagan A. Carter, Zachary A. Casey, Adam C. Childers, Bridget L. Clarke, Andrew M. Claxton, Caitlan E. Coleman, Kierra D. Cone, Shaina I. Cooper, Michala L. Coursey, Autumn D. Coxwell, Alexis M. Crawford, Lenore A. Cullen, Michael C. Dallas, Brett J. Davis, Dalton L. Davis, Joshua D. Davis, Elizabeth M. Derst, James J. Dixon, Sharanta L. Dixon, Rachel A. Douberly, Brandon P. Douglas, Marshall L. Duke, Patrice Dunn, April L. Finch, Robert T. Finley, Taylor J. Fordham, Camille H. Fox, Ashley M. Francis, Katie N. Futch, Virginia A. Gadson, Lisa F. Gambrell, Kaylin S. Gapac, A'Ryan L. Gardner, Jessica B. Gordon, Ta'shon D. Grady, Hannah A. Gray, Aqil J. Green, Blair T. Green, Dorian N. Green, Haylee H. Greene, Katheryne T. Gunby, Hannah E. Gwinett, Chelsea M. Hadden, Jessica N. Hadden, Dustin M. Hall, Megan S. Hart, Jeffrey E. Hatley, Ki'Monsha K. Hayton, Grant G. Hendricks, Jarret T. Henry, Tiffanie D. Herndon, Alexander M. Hinton, Alexander B. Hooks, Lacey D. Humphrey, Justin B. Ilugbo, William S. Irvin, Jeffrey C. Jackson, Malanie P. Jackson, Alayna M. Jennings, Carolyn D. Johnson, Devin J. Johnson, Tiffany M. Johnson, Allyson H. Jones, Jessica B. Jones, Rhonda L. Jones, Natalie B. Jordan, Nicholas S. Jordan, Shameeka C. Kennedy, Colton C. Kersey, Cassidy H. Kicklighter, Kelli L. Kirby, Melissa A. Kroner, Alexis G. Kuhns, Korwin D. Kyle, Joseph M. Lane, Khiara M. Lanier, Marva S. Lanier, Hughston C. Leaks, Robert H. Leggett, Chelsea E. Lewis, D'Ayra O. Lewis, Nathanial K. Lewis, Vondesha T. Lewis, Amanda J. Long, Toneshia T. Mack, Ciara M. Madsen, Joshua A. Martin, Jasmine M. McCoy, Heather R. McCullough, Britne M. McDuffie, Whitne Z. McDuffie, Akilah R. McRae, Kaylah J. McWilliams, Christine M. Melton, Wesley H. Melton, Phillip T. Merrell, Asia K. Miller, Victoria N. Mincey, June M. Moore, Seth E. Morgan, Daniel S. Morrison, James M. Moseley, Melissa B. Nabb, Michael J. Nickerson, Brooke A. Nusall, Jacob C. Odom, Courtney M. Oglesby, Alexa V. Ortiz, Delta E. Pannell, Carlissa M. Partridge, Collin W. Pike, Kristen A. Pitts, Derek B. Powell, Victoria E. Powell, Jameson D. Price, Dakota N. Prince, Barrett D. Pritchard, Crystal S. Pryce, Marquita D. Randall, Adam P. Reardon, Audrey D. Renfro, Alexander J. Rich, Chazz K. Richmond, Dana C. Roberts, Briunna L. Robinson, Julie Rockson, Deontre' M. Ross, Leah N. Rush, Eva A. Salmon, Anthony W. Salvaggio, Haley M. Sanchez, Fred A. Scott, Juakota M. Scott, LaShonda R. Scroggins, Bendu Sesay, Michael D. Shaw, Christina E. Shay, Margaret E. Sheley, Alex J. Smart, Keith L. Smiley, Julia T. Smith, Kyle S. Smith, Marlie R. Smith, Stephanie B. Smith, Christian T. Stephens, Breanna N. Stidem, Allison J. Strange, Joseph J. Sudowski, Xaishia R. Sutton, Lucy L. Swan, Precious K. Swinney, Sierra H. Syfrit, Kelly L. Tarkington, Timothy L. Tarver, Benjamin J. Teston, Dylan S. Thomas, Cortney L. Thompson, Joshua P. Torres, Armond J. Trice, Bryant W. Trice, Garrett J. Upchurch, Railey C. Waddell, Samuel S. Walthour, Kaitlin E. Warren, Austin E. Weaver, Jesse E. Westendorf, Keyona K. Whigham, Quinton D. White, Rainey L. White, Christopher T. Wiggins, Macy E. Wiggins, Anna R. Wilcher, Lakisha S. Wilcox, Brittany D. Wilkinson, Jessica L. Williams, Stephanie A. Williams, Breana Wilson, Sayvon D. Wilson, Katlyn K. Winner, Alfreda J. Young, Raul A. Zamorano and Kyle A. Zimmer.