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 Suwanne, 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 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.

Grady graduate encourages Class of 2017 to celebrate personal journeys in speech at UGA Fall Commencement

There was a time when donning a cap and gown as a college graduate seemed like a dream out of reach for Samuel Peraza. As a first-generation American growing up for much of his life in a single-parent household, he faced many barriers. But it was his triumph through adversity that ultimately led Peraza to not only graduate from the University of Georgia but also to be honored as the Fall 2017 Commencement Student Speaker.

“My story, like each of yours, is comprised of trial and triumph,” said Peraza, a public relations graduate who also earned a Public Affairs Professional Certificate. “This is a culmination of years of hard work, and I celebrate and commend you equally for that accomplishment.”

Peraza gave an impassioned speech to the Class of 2017, urging fellow graduates to continue in the celebration of their personal journeys by practicing three things: basking in the ambiguity (the freedom that comes with choice afforded by college degrees), facing the future confidently and loving well.

“Our definition of success may change over time, but the one thing that will remain true is the power of a meaningful relationship,” he said.

Peraza’s speech came to a touching conclusion with a bilingual tribute to his mother, thanking her for the many sacrifices she’s made for him and his family.

“My hope is that one day I’ll be able to give you the life you deserve, because you have devoted your entire life to your children, our family and ultimately my education,” he said.

Watch Peraza’s speech in its entirety below.

Peraza plans to move to New York City and pursue a career in public relations.