More than 300 Receive Degrees at Piedmont University Commencement Ceremonies

DEMOREST, GA (05/08/2023)– A total of 307 Piedmont University students received undergraduate and graduate degrees on Friday, May 5, during two commencement ceremonies. The graduate ceremony was held at 10:30 a.m., with the undergraduate service following at 1:30 p.m. Both were held in the Johnny Mize Athletic Center on the Demorest campus.

  • Class of 2023 graduates include:
  • Isabel Ott of Monroe, GA
  • Raleigh Wunderlich of Loganville, GA
  • Sierra Maxwell of Monroe, GA
  • Nathan Boyce of Loganville, GA
  • Kaylee King of Loganville, GA
  • William Olson of Monroe, GA
  • Morgan Calhoun of Loganville, GA
  • Braylyn Shepherd of Monroe, GA
  • Samantha Allen of Monroe, GA
  • Jazmine Campbell of Loganville, GA
  • Raegan Davidson of Monroe, GA
  • Madison Martin of Loganville, GA
  • Kim Parry of Monroe, GA
  • Bethany Biggs of Social Circle, GA
  • Stacey Price of Loganville, GA
  • Kaitlyn Winegarner of Loganville, GA

During the ceremony, Piedmont University President Marshall Criser announced that the commencement speaker, Dr. Octavius Mulligan, is the new Dean of the College of Education. Mulligan earned four degrees from Piedmont, including a Doctor of Education degree he achieved in 2014. Mulligan has been an educator for 29 years, most recently serving as principal of Tesnatee Gap Elementary School in Cleveland, Georgia. 

Awards were also given during commencement. The Michael and Emily Robertson Kindness Award, recognizing a student who has demonstrated kindness to others within the Piedmont University community, was presented to Jaclyn Marie Simpson. 

Cooper Adam Kework received the H.M. Stewart Sr. Award of Excellence, presented annually to the top honor graduate of Piedmont University. The senior had the best grade point average in the class of 2023. Kework received a trophy to keep, while a larger one is on display in the Arrendale Library’s honors corner.

Dr. Lillian Reeves, associate professor of education and elementary education chair, was named the Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Award winner. Vice President for Academic Affairs and forensic science professor Bruce Willis was honored with the Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award. 

Most of Friday’s graduates were from Georgia, but several other states were represented, including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and South Carolina.

In addition to the Education Specialist and Doctor of Education degrees, degrees conferred included the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts, and Master of Business Administration. 

About Piedmont University: Piedmont University is one of the most dynamic small universities in the Southeast. Its 300-acre residential campus is nestled in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. Founded in 1897, Piedmont is a comprehensive liberal arts institution offering a variety of career-oriented majors in the arts and sciences, business, education, and nursing.

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