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GPC's last commencement before merger
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Georgia Perimeter College's 50th and final graduation under the GPC banner will take place Friday, May 8, at 10:30 a.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. The college expects to become a unit of Georgia State University next January.

More than 2,050 students are expected to receive their associate degrees during the ceremony. Shelley Nickel, the University System of Georgia's vice chancellor for strategic planning and implementation, will be the guest speaker.

Of note during the GPC ceremony:

• The youngest graduate will be 16-year-year old Marquese Parker, a DeKalb Early College Academy student who will receive his associate degree before he receives his high school diploma on May 15. Parker may be the youngest, but not the only DECA college grad. He'll be joined by 30 of his DECA classmates who also will be receiving their associate degrees during the ceremony.

• Wes McReavy, an Iraq war veteran, will receive his associate degree with his service dog, Kiah, at his side. The dog helped McReavy, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, successfully attend college, he says. In a fun twist, Kiah will be presented with a special "dog-gree" at the event to commemorate her service.

• The average age of the GPC graduate is 28.7; the median age is 26.

• More than half of the graduates transferred to GPC from another college.

• The most popular majors are business, psychology, health information, general studies, nursing and computer science