Celebrating the LaGrange College Class of 2024

Published 8:08 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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Rain was not going to deter this graduating class from having their day.

At 8:30 a.m.. on Saturday morning, despite the rain, the LaGrange College Class of 2024 lined up for their commencement, some with rain ponchos on or carrying an umbrella. Family members and friends sat on the damp bleachers ready to cheer on their graduates. It was a morning of celebration and remembrance. The John Mohr Mackintosh Pipes and Drums got the processional rolling. Followed by Susanna Baxter with a welcome to the graduating class, their family members and friends. The LaGrange College Singers performed Rain by Michael Higgins, an appropriate song considering the weather.

Brian Peterson presented the Waights G. Henry, JR., Leadership Award to Lindsey Green, a Marketing and Entrepreneurship and Accountancy double major from the Class of 2024. Green was full of emotion as she gave her address to her fellow graduates.

Spencer King presented the Distinguished Service Alumni Award to Gregory Walter Wright, who graduated from LaGrange College in 1988 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Susanna Baxter presented two honorary degrees.

Dr. James (Jim) F. Bruce, JR. was given the Honorary Doctor of Medicine degree. Bruce dedicated over 30 years to LaGrange College student-athletes and Troup County residents.

The late Rev. Dr. Willie T. Edmondson was bestowed the Degree of Honorary Doctor of Law. Edmondson served the city of LaGrange for over 20 years, first as a councilman and then as mayor, the role he had at the time of his passing. Edmondson’s daughter, Kimberly, accepted the diploma on his behalf.

Before the Conferring of Degrees, a special tribute was made in honor of Lakevin DeBruce, a classmate who tragically lost his life just months before graduation. A video was played with clips of family members , classmates and faculty participating in an anti-violence rally and sharing memories of DeBruce. A chair sat amongst the graduates, where DeBruce would have sat and was adorned with a white ribbon and a bouquet of white roses. A moment of silence was shared.

Dr. Zachary Taylor, III gave the Commencement Address. Taylor spoke of the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the community and within the classroom: social distancing, wearing masks and virtual classes. He spoke of the trials and tribulations that the students had to overcome to be where they are; awaiting the acceptance of their diploma.

Let the commencement begin. About halfway through the awarding of diplomas, the rain stopped, the sun decided to shine down on the graduates and the cicadas joined in with their own song of celebration.