MILLEDGEVILLE — This weekend nearly 1,500 students and their families will celebrate the culmination of their hard work, focus and dedication during undergraduate commencement at Georgia College.
These types of ceremonies are commonplace around the country this time of year.
Central Georgia Technical College celebrated its largest-ever graduating class Friday evening in its first commencement ceremony since its merger with Middle Georgia Technical College. Among the graduates to walk across the CGTC stage at the Macon Centreplex were 14 students from Baldwin County. Around the same time Friday evening, 440 graduate students received specialty degrees from Georgia College.
Next month, a group of Georgia Military College graduates will walk across a stage as well.
Degrees in hand now many, if not most, move on to the next phase — putting their knowledge and skills sets into practice by landing a job in their respective fields of study. Baldwin County has been the place many of these graduates have either resided or commuted to for months and years as they worked on their degrees, and now many of them will soon claim their stake in a new community as they move on with their careers.
Though some will stay in the area, it certainly would be great if more of them did. As they have worked toward their degrees, Milledgeville and Baldwin County have played a role in their preparation for this new chapter in their lives; the instructors who have prepared them, the community where they have worked and been supported. That support also extends, however, beyond the degree.
Continuing efforts to cultivate a community that supports and promotes entrepreneurialism fosters business growth and expansion, and one that works for the improvement of overall quality of life for families helps extend that support. These efforts remind graduates that there are numerous reasons to stay around and lots to offer in Milledgeville and Baldwin County. Working together and working toward expanding projects such as the Communiversity efforts in the former Shaw building, the Central State Hospital redevelopment work and other similar projects in development give not only recent graduates but also long-time residents more potential for career opportunities and growth in their own lives — more options and more reasons to call Baldwin County home.
Congratulations and hats off to the collegiate Class of 2014. Wherever your pursuits take you, be reminded that Milledgeville played a role in helping shape them and that the community wishes you much success in the years ahead.