The University of Georgia Griffin Campus held the Fall Graduation Celebration and Brick Ceremony for the class of 2017 on Thursday, December 14, 2017 in the Stuckey Auditorium. In total, 24 students received their degrees and became alumni of the oldest state-supported university in the nation. This was the 22nd graduation ceremony held on the Griffin Campus.  

Dr. Lew Hunnicutt, Assistant Provost and Campus Director, welcomed students, along with their families and friends, before introducing Keynote Speaker Dr. Russell Mumper, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for UGA.

Dr. Mumper challenged the graduates to never become stagnant. Instead to keep challenging themselves, building upon their skills and accomplishments as well as being open to the possibility of change.

“Set bold goals, just like you set the goal to become alumni of the University of Georgia,” said Mumper. “Challenge yourself consistently to prepare yourself for new opportunities that have not yet emerged. Value skills, experiences and accomplishments for more than titles and prepare yourself for those emerging opportunities and I know you’ll be ready.” 

Also addressing the crowd at the event was student speaker Kevin Fidati, Jr., who graduated magna cum laude from the Terry College of Business. Fidati reminded his fellow graduates that even though life will knock you down, the important thing is to get back up, whether it be for yourself, your spouse, your children or even the naysayers who do not believe you can.

“I congratulate each of you, not for reaching the finish line, but for reaching the starting line,” said Fidati. “You now have the tools to be successful and have reached the level of education only some can dream about.”

Graduates represented each of the five colleges on campus: Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Education, Terry College of Business and College of Family and Consumer Sciences; with administration from each also in attendance for the ceremony. The following students received their undergraduate or graduate degrees:

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

  • Ashley Buffington, Bachelor of Arts
  • Emily Cesar, Bachelor of Arts
  • Nicholas Ciappa, Bachelor of Science
  • J’Lynn Lewis, Bachelor of Science

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

  • Patricia Dawsey, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
  • Winniefred Griffin, Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences
  • Randall Pierce, Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences
  • Ben Gochnour, Master of Science
  • Jun Liu, Master of Science
  • Yumin Xu, Master of Science
  • Shangtao Liang, Doctor of Philosophy

College of Education

Special Education

  • Laura Way, Bachelor of Science in Education

Mathematics Education

  • Lucia Benzor, Educational Specialist
  • Kalecia Holder, Educational Specialist
  • Talisa Johnson, Educational Specialist
  • Shiri Starvetsky, Educational Specialist
  • Kimberly Benson, Master of Education
  • Katie Calkins, Master of Education
  • Jenna Thomas, Master of Education
  • Debbie Vaughn, Master of Education

Student Affairs Leadership

  • Elizabeth Huggins, Doctor of Education

Terry College of Business

  • Kevin Fidati, Jr., Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Jared Keenan, Bachelor of Business Administration

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Joseph Macgillivray, Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences

After participating in the graduation ceremony, students traveled to the Naomi Chapman Woodroof Agricultural Pavilion for the Brick Ceremony where bricks with their names engraved were placed alongside past alumni in the pavilion.