Lanier Technical College held its 2016 commencement Friday night at Free Chapel, awarding 235 degrees, 394 diplomas and 631 certificates.
The college marked its 50th graduation ceremony with 985 unduplicated and 1,260 duplicated graduates. They ranged in age from 18 to 72, including 304 from Hall, 192 from Forsyth, 81 from Barrow, 54 from Dawson, 64 from Jackson, 32 from Lumpkin and 21 from Banks.
Medical Assisting had the highest number of graduates, followed by Early Childhood Care & Education, Cosmetology's Shampoo Technician, Practical Nursing and Emergency Medical.
"Besides being our ‘golden anniversary class,' this class is special in many ways," said Dr. Ray Perren, President of Lanier Tech. "The class includes the largest number of associate degrees ever awarded by Lanier Technical College. The class also includes the first Lanier Tech students to earn the Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Physical Therapist Assistant and in Health Information Management Technology.
"We are proud of each and every one of our graduates. This class represents the very best and brightest to enter our region's workforce."
The keynote speaker Amy O'Dell was the college's Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year and the Lead Instructor in the Interiors Program.
"Be bold, be brave. I believe in you," she told the class. "Graduates of the class of 2016, you are warriors of the workforce, experts of economic development, innovators of industry, and you are taking on the business world, like a boss!"
Also speaking was Evelyn M. Chacon Sanchez Johnson, the College's 2016 GOAL winner, originally from Costa Rica and Desmond Vaird, the Technical College System of Georgia's 2016 EAGLE winner and the TCSG's Ambassador of Adult Education.