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Clayton State announces spring commencement speakers

(April 30, 2024) - Clayton State University is excited and ready to honor its graduating Class of 2024 at this year’s spring commencement.

commencement speakers

The ceremony will take place over the course of two days – Friday, May 3, at 3 p.m. and Saturday, May 4, at 9 a.m. and noon at the Athletics Center.

Clayton State University President Dr. Georj Lewis and numerous university faculty and staff will be in attendance. Guest speakers will also include Senator Jon Ossoff, Regent Doug Aldridge, and Terreta Rodgers of Amazon.

Born and raised in Georgia, Senator Jon Ossoff serves as our Senior United States Senator. In his first two years in office, he passed more standalone bills than any other freshman Senator, focusing on mental health, public safety, and veterans’ issues. Ossoff secured record federal funding for Georgia’s education institutions, including historic resources for HBCUs. He champions workforce development and has moved forward bipartisan legislation which has expanded veterans' access to mental health care and improved military family services. Mentored by civil rights icon John Lewis, Ossoff led a business producing investigative journalism. He resides in Atlanta with his wife, Dr. Alisha Kramer, and daughter, Eva Beth.

Douglas R. Aldridge Jr., CFP®, is the president of Aldridge Private Wealth Management Group within Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, specializing in wealth management for affluent families, foundations, and institutions. As a certified PIM Portfolio Manager and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional since 2007, Doug provides comprehensive financial strategies. Previously, he held leadership roles at Wells Fargo Advisors and Morgan Stanley, with experience in investment banking and estate planning. Doug earned a B.A. in Spanish and Economics from Washington & Lee University and an MBA from Emory University. He resides in Chattahoochee Hills, GA, with his wife and six children, passionately involved in foster care, education, and community service.

Terreta Rodgers leads Community Affairs for Amazon’s Atlanta region and is part of the Public Policy Team. With 20+ years in corporate relations, brand marketing, and government affairs, she champions hyperlocal external strategies, fostering trust as Amazon's community partner. Beginning in politics, including roles with Atlanta's Mayor and Vice President Al Gore, Terreta builds relationships to fuel Georgia's economic growth. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she chairs the Northwest Georgia Section of the National Council of Negro Women and serves on boards including the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Terreta holds degrees from Georgia State and Clark Atlanta Universities, earning accolades like Women Looking Ahead Magazine’s Most Powerful and Influential Woman Award. She resides in Georgia with her husband.

Three Clayton State seniors, Claribel Ross, Marchelle Fletcher, and Zhareia Smith, will also speak to their fellow graduating classmates.

Those without tickets who wish to watch the ceremony can view it in Student Activities Center Ballroom. The event will also be streamed online at

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