Congratulations, Fall 2022 Graduates

Please visit our Fall 2022 Convocation landing page to view a roll call of graduates and social media aggregator.

Nearly 150 graduates and their family members attended convocation ceremonies Dec. 16, 2022. Convocation took place in the UGA Fine Arts Auditorium followed by a graduation celebration a block away at Grady College.

The ceremony honored nearly 180 undergraduate students, and more than 50 graduate students, which included MFA Narrative Nonfiction and MFA Film students who graduated at the end of the summer.

One student, Shuoya Sun, earned a Ph.D. in journalism after presenting her thesis paper, “The effect of arousal spike positions under skippable and non-skippable in-stream video advertising and the underlying psychological mechanisms.”

The highlight of the convocation ceremony was a brief speech delivered by graduating senior Lindsay Richman, a public relations and Spanish major, who talked about the power of embracing change.

Lindsay Richman delivers her convocation talk with a podium in front of her.
Lindsay Richman was chosen to be the senior speaker during Convocation. She challenged the audience to rewrite the rules and make changes when needed.

She talked about how she reinvented herself from a student who struggled in her early school years to one who rewrote her life script in high school, changing into an AP student. She had to regroup further when her mother died last May.

“The universe changes or eliminates the rules on us all the time,” Richman said. “You just have to see it.  I’m not saying you have to lose someone close to you to realize your potential. But when life goes “un-according to plan”…the experience can become a catalyst that transforms us or unlocks whom we might have become one day in the distant future.”

She concluded her time challenging the graduates to have the courage to change, if needed.

“Whether we have jobs lined up or no idea what’s coming next, we can ask ourselves every day, ‘Is this where I want to be?  Who I want to be?  Am I living a life I’m proud of?’ And, if the answer is no, change it.  Work for a better society.  For a better you.”

Richman’s speech can be viewed beginning at the 5:00 minute mark in the convocation ceremony video below.


Following the ceremonies, families walked down Baldwin street to the graduation celebration at Grady College, which included sweet treats, photo opportunities and a change to mingle fellow graduates, faculty and staff.

Please view the following UGGrady Flickr accounts to view pictures from the day:

  • Lindsay Richman talked about having the courage to rewrite rules and make changes. (Photo: Jackson Schroeder)


Student speaker reflects on love of collegiate journey

This feature was originally written and posted by UGA Today, and can also be found on the UGA Today website

Suwanee native Michael Banks to speak at fall 2022 Commencement on Dec. 16

Throughout his life, Michael Banks has embraced varied interests and passions. And that didn’t change during his time at the University of Georgia.

Banks is a classically trained singer, an open water swimmer who once dreamed of swimming the English Channel and he is set to graduate with a double major and double minor.

While his path has changed from his first days as a freshman, Banks does not regret the journey. In fact, as student speaker for the fall 2022 undergraduate Commencement, he plans to share his affection for it.

“The big theme of my speech is falling in love, which might sound cheesy, but it’s about joy in the journey more than anything,” said Banks, a Jere W. Morehead Honors College student from Suwanee.

Throughout his UGA career, Banks has changed majors, added minors and explored multiple schools and colleges. He will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and international affairs, minors in anthropology and business, and a certificate in global studies.

“I really value interdisciplinary studies and being a multidimensional thinker,” said Banks. “I’ve gotten to learn a lot across four very different colleges here at UGA, and I’ve seen that trickle into how I write as a journalist, how I look at my international affairs classes. Being able to pursue that passion across different avenues and different lenses has made me a more well-rounded global citizen.”

A path forward

During his time at UGA, Banks sought guidance from peers and instructors that helped lead him down the right path.

“I kind of leap-frogged around a little bit,” Banks said. “When I started out in international affairs coming into UGA, I had the lofty goal of thinking I was going to be an ambassador.”

That changed when Banks realized his passion for international affairs came from a love of understanding different cultures, as opposed to the passion for politics some of his classmates exhibited.

His professor, Loch Johnson, suggested he might prefer anthropology, so he added it as a double major.

As a sophomore, the COVID-19 pandemic also changed his academic path when Banks paused to consider what he really wanted to study. He pulled an all-nighter to find a major or curriculum that encompasses many of his interests, and he landed on journalism.

His anthropology major transformed into a minor, and Banks focused on journalism, communications and digital media at Grady.

“I’m building a lot of transferrable skills—writing on a deadline for different audiences, synthesizing large amounts of information, learning about Adobe and web development,” Banks said. “And I’m learning all of this while I cover politics and social justice for Grady Newssource. And I think it has been, probably, one of the best decisions I’ve made in my college career.”

A world of opportunity

Banks starts a job in Deloitte’s Government & Public Services practice in Atlanta next spring, but he’s thankful for the time he had in Athens.

“Georgia felt like home starting at orientation,” Banks said. “The first person I met, and probably my best friend to this day, helped mold some of the activities and groups I took part in. She’s a Turkish citizen, and a lot of our friendship is formed on critical conversations about culture and identity, and that motivated me to pursue a very international experience, even in Athens.”

He built on his education through a number of internships—at the United Nations Foundation, McKinsey & Company and the State Department—as well as through experiential learning and student organizations.

He is a Grady ambassador, a 2022 Cox-SABEW Fellow and former president of the Dean William Tate Honors Society. He was also part of the Indian Cultural Exchange, sang with the African American Choral Ensemble and co-directed a first-year program through UGA’s Student Government Association.

“I look at my closest friends from college and not one of them has the same set of identities or lived experiences,” Banks said. “And having that diversity of perspectives has been so important in my life—I definitely recommend taking advantage of all of the international and interdisciplinary experiences that UGA has to offer.”

And as he addresses his peers on Dec. 16, he’ll also address a UGA alumnus celebrating four decades since graduation—his father.

“It’ll be the 40-year anniversary of my dad’s graduation this December, which is really sweet,” Banks said. “He graduated in the fall of ’82, and when I was auditioning to be student speaker, I knew it would be really special if I was selected.”

Richman named senior speaker at Grady Convocation, Banks named UGA Commencement student speaker

Lindsay Richman sits at a desk during her internship with Seacrest Studios.
From January to June 2022, Richman worked as a production intern for Seacrest Studios. (Photo: Submitted)

Lindsay Richman, a senior public relations major from Alpharetta, Georgia, has been named the senior speaker during the fall 2022 Grady College Convocation, while her peer Michael Banks, a senior journalism major and Grady College Ambassador from Suwanee, Georgia, has been named the University of Georgia student speaker for the fall 2022 undergraduate commencement ceremony. 

Richman will graduate this December with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in Spanish. She is a Dean’s List and Hope Scholarship recipient.

Most recently, Richman worked as an internal communications intern at Inspire Brands, where she spearheaded Buffalo Wild Wings’ weekly internal newsletters and pitched, wrote and edited content for internal stakeholders, among other tasks. Before that, Richman was a production intern at Ryan Seacrest Studios, interned for a congressional campaign and wrote for The Red & Black. 

Richman also serves as an executive board member at The American Cancer Society at UGA. 

Michael Banks stands on front of the fountain on North Campus.
Banks has interned with both the United Nations Foundation and the U.S. Department of State. (Photo: Submitted)

Banks, a Jere W. Morehead Honors College student, will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs. He also completed a certificate in global studies and minors in anthropology and business. 

Currently, Banks is working as a virtual foreign service intern for the U.S. Department of State. Previously, Banks interned with the United Nations Foundation, McKinsey & Company and Historic Athens, among other companies and organizations. 

Grady Fall 2022 Convocation will take place on Dec. 15 in the Fine Arts Theatre, at 255 Baldwin St. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. for the ceremony that starts at 2 p.m. Graduates will have their names read in front of family, friends, faculty and staff as they walk across stage at the Fine Arts Theatre. Following the ceremony, graduates and guests will be invited over to Grady College’s Schnitzer Family Media Lawn for a reception starting at 3 p.m. More information is available hereGraduating students planning to attend the convocation need to register here no later than Dec. 6, 2022.

The UGA Fall 2022 Commencement ceremony will occur on Dec. 16 at Stegeman Coliseum, 100 Smith St. The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. The graduate ceremony starts at 2:30 p.m. More information is available here.