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David Buntin, interim assistant provost and campus director for UGA-Griffin, addresses graduates at the 2022 spring graduation ceremony.

GRIFFIN — The University of Georgia Griffin campus held its spring Graduation Celebration and Brick Ceremony for 29 members of the Class of 2022 recently, representing all five colleges that offer degrees at UGA-Griffin.

Each student graduating from UGA-Griffin is honored with a lasting mark on campus — a brick featuring their name and class year is installed in the walkways around the Student Learning Center. In previous years, graduates’ bricks were placed at the Naomi Chapman Woodroof Pavilion.

David Buntin, interim assistant provost and campus director of UGA-Griffin, told the graduates that the bricks will mark their time at UGA for generations to come, expressing hope that the bricks of future graduates will cover the walkways of the campus in the future.

Terry College of Business graduate Lindsey Decker was selected by faculty as the student speaker for the graduation event, speaking to her classmates about what her time on the Griffin campus meant to her.

“Dr. (Marianne) Fortuna taught me that although good things don’t come easy, with hard work, integrity and passion, they will show up at your door,” Decker said. “For my psychology students, Dr. Buff (Perry Buffington) would say that success is calling. And that the question is, ‘Will you answer?’ This drive and dedication, a never-ending strive for success and honor, without fear, is what it means to be a Dawg.”

Nick Place, dean and director of UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, gave the keynote address, congratulating the graduates on their accomplishments and contributions during their time at the university.

“You should be proud of the work that you’ve done during your college career,” Place said, “and you should be confident in what is coming after today — opportunities to use the knowledge you’ve gained and the skills you’ve learned to make a meaningful and significant impact in the world.”

Place emphasized the importance of taking risks, challenging graduates to see their graduation as an opportunity to be not only dreamers but doers.

“You, as graduates of UGA, are uniquely equipped to answer the difficult questions the world is asking today. … You are clearly dreamers with big goals, but you are also doers with the kind of drive it takes to achieve those goals,” he said. “But here is the great part about being both a dreamer and a doer who also happens to have answers to the complicated questions the world is asking: You have the opportunity to shape what that looks like for you and in your life.”

In closing, Place assured graduates that they are ready for this next chapter in life.

“My hope is that each of you actively seeks opportunities to make the world a better place, no matter what that looks like in your own life and career,” he said. “All of us at the University of Georgia are honored to have been part of your college career and to have had a role in shaping you as future leaders.”

Following the ceremony, students and their families attended a reception in their honor.

Chrystal McDowell, assistant director of student affairs for UGA-Griffin, wished the graduates well and congratulated them on their accomplishments.

“You made it. Job very well done,” she said. “Congratulations from all of us and as always, go Dawgs.”

To learn more about the UGA Griffin campus, visit

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