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First GPTC class celebrates graduation
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Commencement exercises for the first graduating class of Georgia Piedmont Technical College were held recently.

Nearly 500 students qualified for graduation by earning a diploma or an associates of applied science degree. Last fall, the college changed its name from DeKalb Technical College to Georgia Piedmont Technical College to better reflect the community it serves in DeKalb, Rockdale, Newton and Morgan counties. This is the first general graduation ceremony since that transition. The commencement program was held at The Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church on Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur.

The ceremony was filled with pomp and circumstance as students filed in behind the college's administration, faculty and staff. More than 250 students participated in the commencement program. The keynote speaker for the event was Ron Jackson, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia.

He provided words of encouragement and gave a perspective on life and education. He encouraged the graduates to focus on three key attributes: attitude, influence and gratitude. "With the credentials you receive today, these three life attributes will aid you in creating not only a fulfilling life, but a successful career," said Jackson. The commissioner went on to quote former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in saying, "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

Jackson encouraged the graduates to become a positive influence and impact the lives of others, and finally be grateful for the people who have impacted your life.

Traditionally, graduates from Georgia Piedmont Technical College enjoy a 98 percent employment rate within the industry that they've studied.