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Embracing the Journey: Clayton State University's Class of 2024 Graduation Celebration

(May 9, 2024) - It took perseverance, willpower, grit, commitment, and heart. But they finally did it.

students lining up to graduate

Clayton State University’s Class of 2024 celebrated its well-earned graduation this past weekend with hundreds of friends and family cheering them on in a passionate and celebratory atmosphere at the school’s Athletic Center.

Applause rained down from the bleachers, raucous cheers from proud parents were repeatedly shouted, and smiles beamed on the faces of those in their caps and gowns as the students took over the venue to celebrate their collective achievement.

Throughout the university’s three commencement ceremonies, the students who spoke at the podium on behalf of their peers and fellow graduating classmates did so seemingly with fire engulfing their spirits – evident motivation and hope for the future laced into the speeches they had prepared.

Undergraduate seniors Claribel Ross and Marchelle Fletcher as well as graduate student Zhareia Smith all spoke passionately about the dedication their classes showcased during their academic tenures at Clayton State.

To their fellow graduates, the three spoke about embracing fear and being brave in their respective next chapters, relying on faith through the good and bad, becoming an inspiration for others through their perseverance, and more.

Additionally, Clayton State University also welcomed three guest speakers who each addressed the Class of 2024, providing further advice while sharing some of their personal experiences since entering the workforce, themselves.

doug aldridge“As you leave the familiar halls of Clayton State University and step into the vast unknown of the future, remember that the road ahead may be challenging but it is also brimming with opportunity. Embrace every challenge as an opportunity to grow, to learn and to thrive and above all never forget the incredible potential that lies within each and every one of you to shape the future of Georgia and the world,” said Regent Doug Aldridge.

terretta rodgers“Class of 2024, you are not just graduates you are architects of our collective future. Take up the mantle. Volunteer your time. Serve those in need. Mentor the next generation and give back generously to Clayton State University,” said Terreta Rodgers of Amazon. 

jon ossoff“Every graduate here has a powerful family story, a powerful personal story that proves what resilience and determination and love and faith can make real. To get to this point every one of you has taken a leap of faith. I am so proud of you and so honored to share this moment with you,” said Senator Jon Ossoff. 

And finally, before everyone left the Athletics Center to begin their next steps, Clayton State President Dr. Georj Lewis wished all graduating Lakers the best of luck moving forward.

He also left them with the hopes that they find the urge to serve their communities, both now and in the future.

president lewis“As you go out into the world, I ask that you be intentional about your choices in your actions and in paving a way for others. Be known as much for your kindness and generosity as for your professional accomplishments,” said President Lewis.

Once again, on behalf of Clayton State University, we would like to wish all the graduating seniors from the Class of 2024 the best of luck moving forward in their future academic and professional careers.

Congratulations and GO LAKERS!

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