Congratulations, Class of 2024!

Oglethorpe University’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, honored more than 300 graduates—the largest number of graduates to walk across the stage in the university’s history. The ceremony also celebrated faculty and student award winners and welcomed community and campus leaders to the stage.

The livestream recording of the ceremony may be viewed on Oglethorpe’s YouTube channel, and additional photos and video from the ceremony and other commencement events are below.

Many members of the Class of 2024 graduated from high school at the height of the pandemic, meaning their high school graduations were held virtually, and their first years at Oglethorpe were remote. This year’s ceremony was particularly special, as it honored a class of students who persisted despite these circumstances, growing stronger and more driven than ever.

This year’s ceremony also honored 10 graduates of the William Q. Hammack School of Business’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program—the first class of graduates since the program was relaunched in 2023.

S. Tammy Pearson '86, Rose Scott, Randi Parks '24 and President Kathryn McClymond

From L to R: S. Tammy Pearson ’86, Rose Scott, Randi Parks ’24 and President Kathryn McClymond

The ceremony began with a welcome from Dr. Kathryn McClymond, who presided over the ceremony for the first time as president of Oglethorpe University. In her speech, she honored the resilience of this year’s graduates, who embody the university’s motto, Nescit cedere (He or she who does not know how to give up).

Rose Scott, an award-winning veteran journalist and Atlanta public media radio host and executive producer, served as this year’s guest speaker and received an honorary degree in recognition of her community engagement and service and contributions to journalism.

In her address to graduates, Scott encouraged students to be inspired by this moment, to let it be the first drop that “fills [their] cups with purpose, passion and pride.”

“As your cup overflows with purpose, passion and pride, might it be a basin of knowledge and inspiration to others…might it also be used to birth new ideas and concepts that benefit our earth and her people,” said Scott in her remarks.

The class also heard from Senior Class President Randi Parks ’24.

“I want to leave you with three words: ‘Still, I rise,'” urged Parks in her address. “These words echo the sentiment of our journey thus far and the spirit of our class. They remind us that no matter the obstacles we encounter, we have the power within us to rise above them. So, let’s go forth from this place with heads held high, knowing that we carry within us the strength and resilience to conquer whatever challenges lie ahead.”

This year’s “Seniors for Students” giving campaign benefitting Petey’s Closet—a campus resource providing professional clothing to Oglethorpe students and helps combat clothing insecurity—exceeded its goal with more than 160 gifts from graduates.

Several prestigious faculty and student awards were presented during the ceremony as well.

Assistant Professor of Sociology Janelle Pham received the Lu Thomasson Garrett ’52 Award for Meritorious Teaching. This annual award honors faculty who represent outstanding pedagogical skills as recognized by both students and fellow faculty members.

Associate Professor of Communication Studies Kate Keib received the Vulcan Materials Company Award for Teaching Excellence and Leadership, considered to be one of the highest honors for a faculty member. Established in 1992, this award comes with a cash prize from the Vulcan Materials Company through the Georgia Independent College Association and Oglethorpe University.

Graduate Haley Alexis Lowell ’24 was awarded the Sally Hull Weltner Award, which honors the student in the graduating class who has attained the highest grade-point average with the greatest number of hours in course work completed at the university.

The James Edward Oglethorpe Award was presented to Bhavana Kunnath24 and Anthony Kai Van Loo ’24. These awards are presented annually to two individuals in the graduating class who, in the opinion of the faculty, have excelled in scholarship, leadership and character.

Note: TSS Photography captured individual photos of each graduate at the ceremony on stage with President McClymond and Board Chair Tammy Pearson ’86, and immediately after exiting the stage. Students will receive a direct email to their Oglethorpe University inbox after the ceremony to access their individual photos.

Commencement Livestream

Commencement Recap

Commencement Photo Album

Commencement 2024

President’s Reception Photo Album

2024 President's Reception

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