GGC reaches milestone, surpasses 5,000 graduates

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Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) awarded 475 bachelor’s degrees during today’s fall commencement ceremony held at the Infinite Energy Center Arena. The college reached an important milestone during the event, surpassing 5,000 graduates who call the institution their alma mater. 

Referring to this milestone, GGC President Stanley C. “Stas” Preczewski took time during the ceremony to encourage the graduates, pointing out that just as GGC has persevered despite seemingly insurmountable challenges, they too can overcome their obstacles and succeed. 

“Students, faculty and staff within the GGC community are all Grizzlies – determined, committed and caring,” said Preczewski.

Like many GGC students, Mark Guevara is among the first in his family to graduate from college. Today, he confidently acknowledged the significance this moment had on his family and proudly joined the ranks of GGC alumni. “At this college, I am not just a number or a statistic, but part of a growing family,” said the information technology major. 

Guevara, the commencement student speaker, went on to encourage his classmates to find the catalyst that sparks their pursuit of happiness and encourages them to dream of better things to come. 

“My drive to succeed and pursue higher education was founded upon a dream my parents had so many years ago – to see their children’s future brighter than their own. Today marks possibly one of the most important moment in my family’s history,” he added. “To my fellow graduates, I challenge you to continue dreaming big. Fill yourself with ambition and maintain your resilience. Be that spark that will set your destiny in motion.”

Serving as the event’s keynote speaker, University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley reinforced the theme of perseverance throughout his address. He shared the story of Camilo Hernandez, a student who started at GGC in learning support classes and who today is graduating with honors. 

As part of his remarks, Wrigley shared Hernandez’s concerns about beginning his college career. “I didn’t know I was worth it,” said Hernandez, a biology major. “They [the faculty] took their time and invested in me, and that means a lot. They decided to take a kid who came from nothing and build him into someone who will build something one day.”

The chancellor went on to highlight the impact that GGC’s hands-on approach has on students by meeting them where they are and helping them reach their highest potential. 

“You will find meaning in life by being part of something larger than yourself. By making the needs of family, friends and society a higher priority than your own, by doing something that advances the wellbeing of others. If you find yourself unhappy, look outward for the fix. Look for how you can make something better or someone happier. That will cure what ails you.” 

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