LaGrange College ceremony recognizes 2020, 2021 graduates

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, May 18, 2021

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By Cole Trahan

On Saturday at 8:30 a.m., LaGrange College held its 190th commencement at Callaway Stadium. Due to Covid-19, the class of 2020 was also present for a belated ceremony. College President Dr. Susanna Baxter gave the ceremony’s opening speech, thanking faculty, staff, and graduates’ family members for aiding their success.

“LaGrange College is blessed by a faculty and staff who are dedicated to challenging our students’ minds and inspiring their souls,” she said before inviting faculty and staff in the audience to stand up.

Attendees clapped and cheered. Baxter then thanked students’ parents and relatives for assisting their success. “

Parents, I commend your dedication to ensuring your child receives a high-quality education in order that she might reach her full potential … I also know that you did not do it alone. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, and siblings also played a critical role to your graduate reaching this important milestone.”

Baxter then asked graduates’ families to stand up, and the crowd clapped and cheered again.

“To the class of 2021 and the most patient class, the class of 2020, congratulations. You did it!” said Baxter, inviting another eruption of applause.

After Baxter finished her opening speech, the Rev. Dr. Adam Roberts, the school chaplain and director of Spiritual Life, led attendees in prayer.

Following that, the LaGrange College Singers delivered a musical presentation conducted by Samuel Miller.

Several award recipients delivered speeches, including Coral Chanel Douglas, recipient of the Waights G. Henry Jr. Leadership Award for 2020; Trevor Austin McLemore, recipient of the Waights G. Henry Jr. Leadership Award for 2021; Laura S. Dean, recipient of the Distinguished Service Alumni Award; and Dr. Robert Tucker and Jerry Wilkinson, who were given honorary doctorates.

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock delivered a special greeting on-screen.

“… I also want to take a moment to congratulate our first-generation college graduates,” Warnock said. “All of you are to be celebrated, but some of you, like me, hail from families where you’re the first college graduate.”

Warnock expressed gratitude that many of the attending graduates would stay in Georgia.

“I can’t tell you how proud we are of each of you. It’s the honor of my life to represent you and your families in the United States Senate, and I can’t wait to see what all that you will accomplish in the state of Georgia and beyond,” he said.