SGSC Celebrates its Class of 2015

South Georgia State College added about 340 new alumni to its numbers during the summer and fall 2014 and spring 2015 terms. These newly-minted alumni were celebrated at the 86th annual Commencement ceremonies held on both the Douglas Campus and the Waycross Campus, where they were charged to uphold the principles and academics standards they learned at SGSC.

Virginia Carson
SGSC President Dr. Virginia Carson congratulates the class of 2015

At the ceremonies, SGSC president Dr. Virginia Carson highlighted the accomplishments of SGSC’s academics by recognizing just a few of the numerous individual academic achievements of the recent Honors Night. She also congratulated the Quiz Bowl Team, who made it to the national championship, and Phi Theta Kappa, the international honors society, for both SGSC chapters receiving the highest honor by being named five-star chapters. The ever-growing Bachelor of Science in Nursing program also received recognition; in just four cohorts since its inception, over 90 students have graduated with their BSN from South Georgia State College.

Dr. Carson remarked on the past year at the College, mentioning the swim team’s national rankings, the soccer and softball team’s district accomplishments, the baseball team’s regional accomplishments, and the basketball team’s state ranking. She noted that while all of these students were playing hard and earning numerous individual athletic awards, they were working even harder, earning a collective GPA average higher than that of their peers.

Chris Clark
Georgia Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Chris Clark addresses the graduates

The Douglas Campus speaker was Georgia Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Chris Clark, who encouraged the graduates to work hard, be diligent, and give your all at whatever it is they do down their unglamorous paths to success. “Do your work… Manners matter. Don’t ever compromise your beliefs and your character, because at the end of the day that’s all you have.” He also gave words of wisdom from his eight-year-old son: “It’s good to be part of a team; it’s a lot easier to beat all those other guys on the other side,” and “Whenever you get fired, you just look at them and say ‘Live long and prosper,’ because you never know if you might need to go crawling back to them for a job one day.” and also gave three points of advice for new graduates in job interviews: “When you go for your interviews, shake hands, leave your cell phone in your car, and don’t smack your gum.” Mr. Clark closed his keynote by telling the graduates that whatever they do, to give it all they’ve got, and then just a little bit more.

US Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter was in attendance at the Waycross Campus ceremony, and gave a word of encouragement to the class of 2015: “You’ll have ups and downs in your life, many things will come into your life, many things will leave, but your education will always be with you…You represent the brightest of the brightest, and we are looking forward with great anticipation to the wonderful things that you will do throughout your career.”

The Waycross keynote speaker was State Senator Tyler Harper, who offered words of advice to young people entering the workforce. He noted that these graduates have limitless possibilities to improve the world they live in, thanks in part to the great education they received at SGSC.  He told them that failure is a natural part of life and they have probably experienced both failure and success to get to this point in their lives, and that they would continue to do so. But the failures are what makes a person really appreciate the great victory of success. “It’s how you respond to the setbacks in life that determines your future success… All of you have faced obstacles in your journey in order to get here, but the exciting part is that each of you has overcome those obstacles to hold those seats in which you sit tonight.” 

Tyler Harper
State Senator Tyler Harper offers words of advice

Senator Harper encouraged the graduates to take the lessons learned at SGSC and use it for their benefit to make their own way in the world and to not let anyone tell them that they can’t. He shared that he had many doubters when he decided to run for state senate at 25, but he worked hard and pushed through, pursued his dream, and won the election. “It was my education, it was my foundation, and my perseverance that allowed me to overcome at the end of the day, and I want to encourage each of you to never let anyone tell you that you’re too young to do anything… There is truly no limit to your potential if you apply yourself.”

All of the graduating class of South Georgia State College have worked hard to earn this achievement, and their dedication and determination have made it possible.

Congratulations to the South Georgia State College class of 2015! Go Hawks!


For photos of both ceremonies, please find SGSC on Facebook.