Spring Commencement held at East Georgia State College; Inaugural Alumni Awards presented during ceremony
Last edited: May 23, 2022 by Harley Smith
East Georgia State College (EGSC) held its Spring Commencement Ceremony Friday, May 13, 2022, at 6 p.m. The ceremony was held in the gymnasium on the EGSC Swainsboro campus. Family and friends of the graduates and community members were all in attendance at the event.
Dr. David Chevalier, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, welcomed the graduates and their families to the ceremony. Ben Beverly, an EGSC Correll Scholar, sang “God Bless America” followed by EGSC student and acting president of the Student Government Association Lavert Graham who presented the Reflection.
The ceremony continued with the presentation of the very first EGSC Alumni Awards. Matt Donaldson, the president of the EGSC Alumni Association and Foundation Trustee, presented the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Rising Star Award.
Courtney Terwilliger received the Distinguished Alumni Award. This award was given to Terwilliger because he has had a positive effect on the local, regional, state, or national level. Terwilliger, of Swainsboro, has been the director of EMS for Emanuel County for many years. He was one of the driving forces in the creation of the Fire and Emergency Services Administration (FESA) degree program at EGSC. He received his Associate of Arts in FESA in December 2018, and his Bachelor of Arts in FESA in May 2020. Courtney was also a student at the college in 1975 and graduated with an associate degree in biology. Courtney's service to the community is commendable as he leads the EMS department at Emanuel Medical Center and works with others in public safety in the community to keep Emanuel County safe. Courtney is well known throughout the State of Georgia for his work in EMS and serves with the Georgia EMS Association on projects and conferences. Terwilliger was recently appointed as the director of Public Safety for Emanuel County. His service to the community has been recognized on several occasions, and in the last few years he was awarded EMS Director of the Year by the Georgia EMS Association.
Susanna Hall Jenkins received the Rising Star Award at the ceremony. This award celebrates the achievements of alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years and who have notable recognition in their chosen field with a promise for continued success. Hall is from Bartow, Georgia, and is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson Academy. She began her studies at East Georgia State College in 2016 and earned her Bachelor’s in Biology in 2020. She was a Correll Scholar, Student Ambassador, and active in many clubs and organizations. Upon graduation, Susanna was awarded the Nathan Deal full Scholarship to Mercer University Medical School.
The speaker for the ceremony was Dr. Alan Brasher, an English professor at EGSC. After earning his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Montevallo in his home state of Alabama, Brasher and his wife Jacquie, a fellow U.M. English major, spent seven years in Columbia, South Carolina, where he completed a Master of Arts in American Literature and a Ph.D. in Colonial and Nineteenth Century American Literature. Since moving to Swainsboro to take a job with East Georgia College in 1997, he has won the University System of Georgia Teaching Excellence Award (2006), participated in the Governor’s Teaching Fellows Summer Symposium (2010), and led the committees that created the Faculty Association and Faculty Senate.
Dedicated to the service mission of the college, Brasher actively promotes the extracurricular development of students and supports the college’s town-and-gown relationship with Swainsboro. Among numerous student-life activities over the years, he advises, or has advised, a half-dozen official student clubs and one unofficial one, including the Book Club, African American Union, and Musicmakers Anonymous. He currently serves on the Sudie Fulford Community Center Advisory Board and the Emanuel Arts Council Board of Directors.
After Brasher’s speech, Dr. David Schecter, president of EGSC, conferred the degrees with assistance from Dr. Chevalier. A full list of graduates will be available soon.
To view photos from the event, visit the EGSC Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/egcpr/albums/72177720298999656/with/52080910029/