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Gadsden State to hold commencement exercises Dec. 20

Gadsden, Ala. –  The Fall Commencement Ceremony for Gadsden State Community College will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 20 at Gadsden State Cherokee. The milestone event recognizes graduates from the summer and fall semesters.

Featured speakers are Gadsden State students Kristia O’Brien, Charles Ray and Emma Young.

O’Brien is a native of Guntersville now living in Gadsden. She is a student in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program and serves as president of the Cardinal DMS Society. She is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. for 26 years. The married mother of two daughters and grandmother of three, O’Brien is an avid community volunteer and enjoys setting up voter registration drives. She will earn an Associate in Applied Science in DMS with a 3.4 GPA.

Ray grew up in Birmingham, where he graduated from Woodlawn High School. At Gadsden State, he serves as a resident advisor for Fowler Residence Hall and is a member of the Circle K Club, a service organization. He will receive an Associate in Applied Science in Mechanical Design Technology with a 3.1 GPA.

Young, a 2019 graduate of Piedmont High School, came to Gadsden State after one year at a four-year university. Realizing a community college was best suited for her goals, she returned home to Centre in 2020 and enrolled in the Salon and Spa Management Technology Program. She will graduate with an Associate in Applied Science with a 3.4 GPA. She currently works at the Beauty Bungalow in Rome, Ga.

Graduates will be presented by Alan Smith, dean of Workforce Development, and Pam Johnson, dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Grants and Special Projects. Dr. Kathy Murphy, president of Gadsden State, will award the degrees. Tony Thrower, Electrical Technology instructor at the Ayers Campus, will serve as the commencement grand marshal.