After much consideration and out of respect for everyone’s health, East Georgia State College (EGSC) is hosting its Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremony virtually. The ceremony will be presented May 7 at 6 p.m. on EGSC’s YouTube and Facebook page. To view the ceremony and more information about the event, visit http://www.ega.edu/2021-Spring-Commencement.

EGSC celebrates the wonderful accomplishments of the graduates and wants to share this special occasion with everyone. The traditional graduation ceremony would be held in the gym on the EGSC Swainsboro campus, but with social distancing rules and restrictions, the event is better suited to be held virtually this semester. The decision to have a virtual celebration will honor the graduates and their hard work, while also keeping families and friends safe and healthy.

In April, EGSC gave each graduate the opportunity to have photos taken in their cap and gown at no cost to be featured in the virtual ceremony. If students could not attend the photo sessions, they were able to submit a photo if they chose to participate. During the ceremony each graduate’s photo will appear when their name is called.

The commencement ceremony will begin with a welcome from The Honorable Richard McNeely, Chairman of the EGSC Foundation Board of Trustees. McNeely was born and raised in Swainsboro, Ga. He graduated from Swainsboro High School in 1979. He furthered his education at East Georgia State College by graduating with honors in 1981 and continued his education at the UGA Terry College of Business where he also graduated with honors in 1983. He graduated law school in 1986 from UGA and has practiced law in Swainsboro continuously since then.

McNeely is a past president of the Swainsboro/Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce and the Swainsboro Rotary Club. He has been the Municipal Court Judge for Swainsboro and other municipalities for over 25 years and the Emanuel County State Court Judge since 2013.

In 2013 he was named the recipient of University System of Georgia Board of Regents Distinguished Alumni Award.

McNeely has been a member of the East Georgia State College Foundation for over 10 years and is currently serving as Chairman. He is married to Renae Ward McNeely from Elbert County, Georgia. They have two children who graduated from East Georgia State College: Rachel M. Gunn and Rick McNeely.

The commencement speaker for the ceremony is C. Everett Kennedy, III. Everett Kennedy is Chief Executive Officer and Broker of Berkshire Hathaway Kennedy Realty in Statesboro where, for thirty-eight years, he has specialized in residential and commercial sales and development. Kennedy, a lifetime resident of Bulloch County, is a 1987 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a BBA in Finance. He is committed to the education of the regional workforce and economic development. He is a past President of the Statesboro Board of Realtors where he was named Realtor of the Year three times in his career. He served two terms on the Board of Governors for the Georgia Association of Realtors, and he is active in the community.

Kennedy serves on the Board of Directors of the Statesboro Bulloch Chamber of Commerce, is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Downtown Statesboro and serves on the Bulloch First Bank Advisory Board and Bulloch Academy Board of Directors. Kennedy is also active in the Sigma Chi Alumni Chapter. He was named to the “40 Under 40” class in 2005 by The Business Report & Journal.

Everett and his wife, Staci, have three children: Greyson, Harrison, and Alexandra. They are active members of the Statesboro First United Methodist Church. Kennedy represents the Twelfth Congressional District on the Board of Regents.

EGSC student Elijah Worthen will present the Student Reflection during the ceremony. Worthen is a sophomore at EGSC. He is a second year Correll Scholar and president of the African American Union and the International Club. He was recently crowned EGSC’s 2021 Homecoming King.

After receiving his associate degree from EGSC, he plans to attend Georgia State University in the Fall of 2021. Worthen will be majoring in music education, with plans to become a music teacher. In his free time, he likes to sing and play the keyboard.

EGSC asks that the community join the virtual ceremony May 7 at 6 p.m. to help celebrate the achievements and hard work of the graduating class. To view the ceremony and more information about the event, visit http://www.ega.edu/2021-Spring-Commencement.