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South Georgia State College (SGSC) is pleased to announce that its spring 2016 commencement ceremonies will take place Thursday, May 5 at 8:30 a.m. on the Douglas Campus and Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. on the Waycross Campus.
The Douglas Campus ceremony will be held on the lawn in front of Peterson Hall. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Wellness Center Gymnasium. Please be advised that West College Park Drive on the Douglas Campus will be closed May 5 from 7 a.m. until noon. The Waycross Campus ceremony will be held in the gymnasium.
Graduates from summer 2015, fall 2015, and spring 2016 will be honored during the ceremonies. In addition, the Douglas Campus ceremony will honor the first graduating class of students to earn the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences.
The keynote speaker for the Douglas Campus ceremony will be alumnus Dr. Garland Gudger, a native of Greensboro, Ga. Gudger attended the former South Georgia College from 1965-67 and was a member of the Tigers men’s basketball team. He finished his undergraduate degree at LaGrange College and earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Gudger is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and has been practicing for 27 years with the Hughston Clinic in Columbus, Ga.
Gudger has held positions of chief of staff and chief of surgery services during his tenure. His clinical interests and specialties include sports medicine and general orthopedics surgery with a special interest in total knee replacement and wrist fractures. Gudger served as a principal investigator for a multi-center study for evaluation of the use of colloidal injections (Synvisc) in knees and hips. He continues his academic research in sports medicine at the Hughston Foundation. In 1990, Gudger received the Order of Merit for distinguished philanthropy in the advancement of orthopedic surgery from the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation.
The keynote speaker for the Waycross Campus ceremony will be Larry Walker, a member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. A lifelong resident of Perry, Ga., Walker earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from the University of Georgia. Upon graduating in 1965, Walker returned to Perry and has practiced with Walker, Hulbert, and Gray ever since. He served for six years as municipal court judge and for eight years as city attorney. Walker was elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1972 and served for over 30 years until 2005.
During his tenure in the state legislature, Walker held roles of administration floor leader and majority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives. He also served four years as the chairman of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, a national organization. Walker then served on the Georgia Department of Transportation Board from 2007-2009, representing the Eighth Congressional District.
In August 2009, Walker was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. He was reappointed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2015. Walker has been named one of “The 100 Most Powerful and Influential People in Georgia” by Georgia Trend magazine for twelve straight years. He and his wife, Janice, have four children and eight grandchildren.
The community is invited to attend and help celebrate with the class of 2016.
- Submitted by Walda Kight, SGSC Vice President for External Affairs