UNG confers more than 1,300 degrees this spring
(May 6, 2015) - Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston congratulated graduates of the University of North Georgia (UNG) this past weekend, and highlighted the importance of their success to state initiatives such as job creation and an educated and adaptable workforce.
Graduate Kristen McCausland will become part of that workforce on June 1 as she begins her new role as a staff auditor with the Georgia Department of Audits. McCausland and more than 1,000 of her fellow students, including her brother Joshua McCausland, were honored in commencement ceremonies held May 1-3 on UNG's Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses.
In total, UNG conferred more than 1,300 associate, bachelor's and graduate degrees this spring. Additionally, 36 graduating members of the Corps of Cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants in the National Guard or U.S. Army. The university is on target to commission a record-high number of 83 Army officers over the course of the academic year.
"We are here to honor you with the richest tradition of the academic community — a commencement ceremony," UNG President Bonita Jacobs said to graduates. "We know what it took for you to reach this point, and we know each of you has a bright future. We know that, as graduates of UNG, you will add meaning and value to the lives of those around you."
Guest speakers during the commencement ceremonies congratulated graduates and sought to inspire them; they included Sandy Eskew Capps, Ralston, Dr. Satu Limaye, Sonny Roshan, Kim Waters and Abit Massey.
Ralston, a UNG alumnus, spoke Saturday morning during the first of three ceremonies that day on the university's Dahlonega Campus, which honored graduates of the College of Education.
"Commencement is not about an end, but a new beginning," Ralston said. "Each person graduating this weekend has accomplished something truly special. As students who have chosen to be educators, you have put in hours of work toward the most selfless of goals. I and more than 10 million Georgians are thankful that you have chosen this profession."
Ralston also commended UNG for plans to construct a new campus in Blue Ridge, saying that site will be a great asset to the region.
"As you leave here and hang your degrees in offices or classrooms or wherever you display them, know that you are part of Georgia's remarkable story," he said. "I believe nothing can match the power of an aspiring teacher. I am so proud to be part of the UNG family, but I am more proud of you."
With her Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting degree in hand, McCausland begins June 1 in the educational division of the Georgia Department of Audits, where she will serve as an auditor to local school boards and colleges.
"During the career fair in March, I talked with a representative from the audits department who laid out a sample career path for me, and I really liked how they integrate college graduates into their environment," McCausland said. "I didn't have any prior experience, but a day after submitting my résumé, they asked for my transcripts, and a week later I was sitting in an interview."
Also, two graduating members of the men's tennis team, Mateus Camasmie and Matheus Guida, were honored during a university cabinet meeting on Monday, May 4. The two were out of town over the weekend for the second round of a NCAA Division II tournament in Savannah, Georgia. They completed the tournament, which marked the end of their season, ranked 20th in the nation, which is a new high for the program.
All graduating students were recognized on UNG's Merit site, which provides students opportunities to share their achievements through social media.