Grady Convocation marks milestones for new graduates

Pictures from the Spring 2016 convocation can be viewed on the UGA Grady Flickr gallery

•   Convocation

•   Miscellaneous Ceremony Pictures

•   Graduate Students

•   Advertising Students

•   Public Relations Students

•   Journalism and Digital Broadcast Journalism Students

•   Mass Media Arts, and Entertainment and Media Studies Students

More than 425 Grady College students celebrated their accomplishments with family, friends and faculty at the Grady Spring & Summer Convocation at The Classic Center Theatre on May 12, 2016.

Nearly 500 Grady College students earned their degrees this semester including four Ph.D. students, 20 master's students, 136 students with an advertising specialty, 132 in public relations, 69 from the journalism program, 52 who studied digital and broadcast journalism, 76 with a mass media arts specialty and 14 with an entertainment and media studies concentration.

Dean Charles Davis presided over the ceremony, giving an overview of Grady's successes this past year and praising the students for their hard work, passion and academic excellence. 

Tom Johnson (ABJ ’63) introduced the keynote speaker, Alex Taylor, executive vice president of Cox Enterprises. 

“Alex believes, as generations of members of his family have, that media is a public service as well as a successful business,” Johnson said. “He believes, as I do, that journalists are the indispensible watch-dogs of our society.”

Taylor’s comments highlighted the importance of journalism and communication, one of the world’s oldest professions.

“I want you to know that you have chosen the single most important career that you can choose. The reward for being a journalist is not about money. The reward for a journalist is the opportunity to make life better on earth…to shine light on injustice…to empower people to do the right thing.”

After giving the example of the powerful message in the movie “Spotlight,” Taylor talked about the ability journalists have to tell powerful stories.

“You can go tell stories like that. You can shine light on things that otherwise might not have light shined on them. That’s an amazing, amazing responsibility. It’s an amazing opportunity. We all know of dark and unsettling things happening in this world. The one profession on earth that really goes out and makes sure that people know is journalism. So you all can make a difference.”

There were two Distinguished Senior Orators, those graduating at the top of their class. Erin Gilleland, a mass media arts major with an English minor from Lilburn, Georgia, and Taylor Lamb, a double major in public relations and international affairs from Valdosta, Georgia, spoke about their experiences at Grady College and what they will remember. They praised Dean Charles Davis for being one of the most dedicated and welcoming deans on campus.

“You truly have transformed Grady from a building to a family,” Lamb said in her remarks.

Bryan Harris (MA ’03) chair of the Grady Society Alumni Board, concluded the platform of speakers by welcoming the students to the alumni ranks of the college.

“All of you are going to carry the spirit of Grady out into the world. But the great thing is that you are not going to go at it alone. Members of the Grady Society are going to be alongside you every step of the way. Give your experiences back to the people coming after you. It’s a big family that just got a little bigger and a lot better because of all of you.”







Date: May 13, 2016
Author:  Sarah Freeman,
Contact:  Sarah Freeman,