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Gupton-Jones College Holds Graduation Exercises

Academic Achievement Award WinnersCommencement exercises were recently held for the February 2012 graduating students of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service at the Fairfield Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. The graduation speaker was Dr. Carol Thomas Williams of Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Williams is the Executive Director of the National Funeral Director and Morticians Association. In addition, Dr. Williams is associated with the Carl M. Williams Funeral Directors funeral home in Atlanta. Her dynamic speech, entitled "Professionalism," offered great inspiration and encouragement to the graduating students as well as to all others.

Gupton-Jones President Patty S. Hutcheson presented awards to the two students with the top scholastic averages during their quarters of funeral study. The Valedictorian Award was presented to Donna Elizabeth Carter, Columbia, SC, and the Salutatorian Award was presented to Mary Hines, Stone Mountain, GA.

The Bill Pierce Award was presented by the Board of Trustees Vice Chairman, Nancy Pierce Barber, to Mary Hines, Stone Mountain, GA, who, by vote of the members of the graduating class, best represents the funeral service profession in terms of professionalism.

The Distinguished Service Award was presented by Gupton-Jones College President, Patty S. Hutcheson, to Dr. Carol Thomas Williams for her outstanding contributions to the funeral service profession. The Daniel E. Buchanan Award was awarded to Jason Foster, Stockbridge, GA. Sarah Grace Cox of Lawrenceville, GA, received the Russell Millison Award.

The Academic Achievement Awards were presented to the following students (pictured), who maintained a ninety-three percent or above average: Donna Elizabeth Carter, Columbia, SC; Sarah Grace Cox, Lawrenceville, GA; Sarah Elliott Ford, Atlanta, GA; Jason Alan Foster, Stockbridge, GA; Kimberly Smith Harris, Warner Robins, GA; Mary Hines, Stone Mountain, GA, Geraldine Melissa Polk, Winston, GA; and Sherieda Latrice Sims-Berry, Jonesboro, GA.

The Mu Sigma Alpha Award went to the top ten percent of the graduating class: Donna Elizabeth Carter, Columbia, SC; Sarah Grace Cox, Lawrenceville, GA; Stuart Elliott Ford, Atlanta, GA; Mary Hines, Stone Mountain, GA; and Sherida Latrice Sims-Berry, Jonesboro, GA.

During the ceremony, the following members of the graduating class, who distinguished themselves throughout the school year, were recognized with Perfect Attendance Awards: Donovan Janard Campbell, Savannah, GA; Liz Greenway, Warner Robins, GA; Mary Hines, Stone Mountain, GA; and Leland G. Loftis, Atlanta, GA.

During the ceremonies, fifty-one students were recipients of the Associate of Science Degree in the Funeral Service Ceremony: Samuel C. Beasley, Jr., Decatur, GA; Riveta L. Boyd, Atlanta, GA; Donovan Janard Campbell, Savannah, GA; Jannes Carodine, Columbus, MI; Donna Elizabeth Carter, Clumbia, SC; Tabitha M. Coker, Newnan, GA; Sarah Grace Cox, Lawrenceville, GA; Melissa E. Estefania, Atlanta, GA; Suart Elliott Ford, Atlanta, GA; Jason Alan Foster, Stockbridge, GA; Haley Fraire, Loganville, GA; Chad Furlow, Atlanta, GA; Liz Greenway, Warner Robins, GA; Carmen R. Hardeman, Lilburn, GA; Kimberly Smith Harris, Warner Robins, GA; Tracy Mellon, St. Louis, MO; Mary Hines, Stone Mountain, GA; Kelvin O. Hodge-James, St. Peters, St. Maarten; Raquel L. Ingram, Plantation, FL; Clay T. Kilbourne, Atlanta, GA; Marcus Lawson, Sumter, SC; Ashley Shanae Lewis, Jonesboro, GA; O'Shonnon DePearl Lee, Atlanta, GA; Leland G. Loftis, Atlanta, GA, Toni Lavonne Lowery, Atlanta, GA; Allie Kristine McLain, Loganville, GA; Brittany Shanta'veus McFadden, Kingstree, SC; Takiya S. Moses-Morrison, Paterson, NJ; John Alexander Myers, Mosheim, TN; Kira Marie Polite, Burton, SC; Geraldine Melissa Polk, Winston, GA; Crystal Latrell Prichard, West Palm Beach, FL; Sheeron Shameika Rawls-Murphy, Brooklyn, NY; Harold A. Reece III, Holly Springs, GA; Charles Burton Root, Conyers, GA; Jordan Donald Scott, Bluffton, SC; Colburn Devron Shelton, Camilla, GA; Sherieda Latrice Sims-Berry, Jonesboro, Georgia; Benjamin M. W. Smith, Newnan, GA; Deshala Kierra Smith, Covington, GA; Victor Dwayne Sparrow, St. Augustine, FL; Justin Blake Stubbs, Valdosta, GA; Jonathan Thomas Talbert, Atlanta, GA; Janelle E. Taylor, Newnan, GA; Dorsey Elbrett B. Thomas, Louisville, GA; Natalie Rene' Walker from Albany, GA; Ethan Uriah Wiggins, Carrollton, Georgia; Sidney Patrell Williams; Greeleyville, SC; Geoffry Spencer Wilson, Atlanta, GA; Emily Danielle Wolfe, Inman, SC; and Mayday Xtutrilla I, Columbia, SC.

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