SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Those graduating Friday officially becoming part of Savannah State University’s illustrious history.
The ceremony was filled with celebration and emotion as the class of 2021 walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.
“Words can’t even begin to explain how I’m feeling right now,” says Brian Dawsey, Savannah State’s Director of Admissions who earned his masters degree today.
Many of the graduates reflecting on what this milestone means to them.
“This day is very monumental for me,” says Avianna Hudson, who provided the undergraduate reflections speech during the ceremony.
Hudson continues saying, “I’m a first generational college student, so I’m breaking generational curses and just showing that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
It was this time at Savannah State that inspired graduate Khyree Hasan to return to his hometown of Decatur to become a teacher.
“I realize that helping children and helping those who are behind me was the most important thing,” says Hasan.
Savannah State honored Hasan with the President’s Second Mile Award, Friday — the highest award that can be presented to a graduating senior based upon character, values, leadership and service to the university and to the community at large.
With this award, faculty acknowledged the impact they say Hasan will have on his future students.
“He’s going home not because he has to or does not have options, he’s going back home to teach in the same area that he’s raised, where only 18% of the population has at least an associates degree. He’s going to change the statistics,” says Savannah State President, Kimberly Ballard-Washington.
Giving back and inspiring others, Hasan says, is his plan.
“My plan is to be able to give back to the community that I came from and show others you can make it anywhere, especially from a university like this,” Hasan said.
The class of 2021 is among those graduating classes that had to complete their college experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — making today’s ceremony that much more special for those who walked across that stage.