CLARKSTON, Ga.—Georgia State University’s Perimeter College is set to celebrate the graduation of nearly 1,000 students via virtual and in-person ceremonies on Thursday, Dec. 17, and Friday, Dec. 18.
Graduation candidate Seqouyah Andrews will attend Thursday’s in-person event as the first in her family to complete college.
“Even though we’re not walking across the stage, we’ll still be in the stadium, and I still think that’s a big deal,” she said, mentioning the in-person ceremony plans made to ensure safety amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Other adjustments made to the fall graduation ceremonies at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium include additional limits to the number of guests each graduate can invite and requirements that candidates remain in specified seating areas as their name is called. Approximately 960 candidates are expected to graduate from Perimeter this fall.
“We are so happy for our graduates and understand the importance of this moment for them and their families,” said Dr. Nancy Kropf, dean of Perimeter College. “We also understand the importance of providing as safe an environment as possible while they celebrate their accomplishments.”
Perimeter also is providing information and recognition for its graduates through a new webpage, as well as email communications.
John Gaddis is opting to attend Friday’s virtual ceremony, which will be offered at noon Friday, through a link on the Georgia State University commencement website. Gaddis chose the virtual option partly because he is a Type 1 diabetes patient trying to minimize his risk of exposure to the coronavirus. Gaddis studied biology at Perimeter and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. After an intense schedule of classes, including microbiology and principles of chemistry, Gaddis is “relieved” to be receiving his associate degree.
“It’s exciting to know that I’ve come this far and that I’ve kept the GPA that I wanted to keep and done well in my classes,” he said, noting that he’ll graduate with a near 4.0 grade point average.
Gaddis plans to transfer to Mercer University and continue studying biology and later apply to medical school.
Andrews will transition to Georgia State’s Atlanta Campus, where she’ll resume her studies in social work and continue participating in activities such as the Panther Activities Council, for which she served as president on Perimeter’s Newton Campus.
After all the unusual turns 2020 has brought, she is clearly excited about her upcoming graduation.
“I’m like ‘Oh, my God, this is really happening.’”