When Georgia College graduate, Matthew Hilliard, first set foot on campus in 2009 as an undergraduate the last thing he expected was to make university history.
On May 10, Hilliard made university history as the first student graduating with degrees in physics, chemistry and math. This combination of majors has never been attempted before at Georgia College.
His educational journey began as a freshmen chemistry major. He found himself interested in the engineering dual program at Georgia College. After a year of participating in the program, an old passion of his was re-ignited.
"Ever since high school, math has always been my passion," Hilliard said. "I had to take a lot of math courses as a chemistry major so I just decided to add math as a second one."
The addition of his third major, physics, came when he took a course to satisfy his interest in the subject.
"I've always been fascinated about physics but I never thought I'd love it so much I'd want to major in it," he said.
Fortunately, Hilliard's choice of majors contained overlapping classes, but to complete all three by graduation required an extensive number of class hours.
"During my last semester I was doing 20 credit hours, but I've also been known to do 18 hours before too," he said.
Hilliard said he owes his success to his self-motivation and the help of the university.
"Georgia College offered me the type of environment where I could succeed with professors that encouraged me to give it my all," he said.
It's not uncommon to find college graduates with double majors, but triple majors are rare.
Hilliard encourages any college student who may consider being a triple major to go for it and not be intimidated by the task at hand.
"Most students are intimidated by triple majors, and even double majors take up a lot of your time, but I strongly encourage anyone interested in multiple subjects to pursue them."
Hilliard has been accepted to Auburn University's Graduate School in Chemical Engineering and starts May 16. His career aspirations are to obtain employment in industry or a research facility but his ultimate goal is to create his own consulting firm.
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