On May 6-8, the University of North Georgia (UNG) will host six spring commencement ceremonies featuring celebrations of this semester's graduating class and words of wisdom from notable public figures.
Beginning Friday, May 6 at 6 p.m. on UNG's Dahlonega Campus, the College of Health Sciences & Professions will hold a commencement ceremony, with guest speaker state Rep. Lee Hawkins. Hawkins, a native of Gainesville, was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2013 and serves as vice chairman of the Health and Human Services, Appropriations, Insurance, and Regulated Industries committees. In addition, he is a practicing dentist, and has been recognized as an Honorable Fellow of the Georgia Dental Association, Northern District Dentist of the Year, a Fellow of the American College of Dentist, a Fellow of the International College of Dentistry, and a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He also has received the Meritorious Service Award from the Emory Dental Alumni Association.
Three ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 7 on the Dahlonega Campus, beginning at 10 a.m. with graduates of the Mike Cottrell College of Business and College of Science & Mathematics. Dr. Holly Carpenter, a UNG alumna and former faculty member, will address graduates and attendees. After earning her doctorate in chemistry at Emory University, she accepted a tenure-track faculty position at UNG, where she conducted academic research funded by competitive national grants awarded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Later, Carpenter launched HiQ Cosmetics, a luxury, innovative cosmetics and skincare company, where she currently serves as CEO.
At 2 p.m., the College of Education will host University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby as guest speaker. After getting his start as a teacher and administrator, Huckaby served in the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and within the Georgia Residential Finance Authority. As chancellor, Huckaby oversees 29 public colleges and universities, manages an $8.1 billion annual budget, and supports more than 47,000 faculty and staff and 318,164 students.
The College of Arts & Letters will honor graduates Saturday evening at 6 p.m., with state Sen. Butch Miller, a UNG alumnus, as speaker. Miller was elected to the Georgia Senate in 2010 to represent the 49th District, and serves as secretary of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. He is a member of the Appropriations, Ethics, Regulated Industries and Utilities, Rules, and MARTA Overview committees. Miller has been honored as the Georgia Automobile Deals Association Distinguished Director, a recipient of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Silver Shovel Award, and a recipient of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award. In addition, Miller has received multiple honors from Georgia Rotary and received UNG's Young Alumnus Award.
Two ceremonies will be held Sunday, May 8 on UNG's Gainesville Campus, beginning at 2 p.m. with graduates of the College of Health Sciences & Professions, College of Education, Institute of Environmental & Spatial Analysis, and the Mike Cottrell College of Business. Martha Zoller, former radio host and current state policy director for U.S. Sen. David Perdue, will be guest speaker. Zoller's background is diverse: she has managed a state congressional campaign, served as a retail buyer, served in medical practice management, spent more than 10 years in the radio industry, and worked as a civilian defense expert and a grassroots PAC consultant.
Commencement for the College of Arts & Letters and College of Science & Mathematics begins at 5 p.m. Sunday on the Gainesville Campus; Zoller also is the guest speaker for that ceremony.
Due to anticipated attendance, tickets are required for each ceremony. Students who have applied for spring graduation can pick up graduation packets, which include their designated amount of tickets, at their home campus bookstore the week before graduation. Graduates are instructed to read through all information and instructions given in the graduation packets, and should arrive 45 minutes prior to graduation to prepare and line-up for the ceremony. Graduates and guests should also allow extra time for traffic and parking when arriving for ceremonies.
Tickets are required for all ceremonies, and can be obtained by graduation applicants when picking up caps and gowns at the UNG Bookstore during the week of May 2 through May 6. Those unable to attend the ceremonies in person can watch UNG's livestream.
Graduates and guests also are asked to share their success via social media using #UNG16grad; posts and photos using the hashtag can be viewed before, during and after the weekend's ceremonies at ung.edu/UNG16grad.
To find more information about spring commencement, including details and instructions for graduates and guests, visit UNG's commencement website.