Clayton State University began its annual commencement exercises on May 4, honoring the academic achievements of master’s level graduates. Nearly 80 students took to the stage Friday evening to be hooded and presented with their degrees.
“This is indeed a day for incredible celebration,” said Dr. Tim Hynes, president of Clayton State University.
Hooding for graduates is a symbolic designation, recognizing students who have completed their master’s degrees. The orange and blue on the hood represents Clayton State’s school colors.
The collar is fashioned with a color representing the field of study in which the degree was earned––Science, yellow; Arts, white; Music, pink; Business, drab; Nursing, apricot; and Philosophy, blue.
Dr. Robert J. Vaughn, Jr., professor of English and dean of the School of Graduate Studies, served as this year’s graduate commencement speaker.
“Tonight, is not just another night,” Vaughn said. “Tonight, we’re celebrating the fact that you have truly mastered the discipline you’ve been studying.”
Vaughn likened the graduates next steps in their careers to the pastime of football. Reflecting on when he was a child tossing the ball with friends, he encouraged the graduates to continue to think big and be as imaginative as children, not losing the desire to continue to learn and grow.
“Go deep,” Vaughn said. “Your decision to pursue a grad degree in first place, an ambition that tonight has been realized, has been exactly that–in your field, you have gone deeper.”
Tajii Mays, a psychology student, was posthumously awarded a master’s degree. Mays was described by faculty as a beautiful spirit and someone who was dedicated, determined, and eager to learn. Her degree was accepted by her mother, Mary Walker Mays, and her family.
Nancy Nguyen, a member of the Clayton State University Alumni Association Board, applauded the accomplishments of the graduates and welcomed them into the Laker family.
“Congratulations class of 2018. I congratulate you on your perseverance, grit, and momentum that you’ve built to make your dream real,” Nguyen said. “But this is only the beginning. You have to keep moving forward. You must ride the high of your own successes through the challenges that appear when making your dreams real.”
View the Commencement Photo Gallery