an undergraduate hugs a family member with a crowd of people around them inside the Convention Center at the Augusta Marriott after the graduation ceremony
An Augusta University undergraduate receives a hug from one of their guests after commencement on Dec. 14.

In Photos: Augusta University celebrates fall 2023 graduates

More than 900 students participated in ceremonies honoring undergraduate and graduate students for Augusta University’s fall 2023 hooding and commencement ceremonies, which took place Dec. 13-14 at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center.

Graduates heard encouraging messages and different advice the keynote speakers have received. Stephanie Stuckey, chair of Stuckey’s Corporation, spoke at the Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony, sharing lessons she’s learned since taking over her family’s business, such as embracing change and making others feel valued and special.

Rodney Bullard, CEO of The Same House, spoke at the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, sharing the importance of bringing courage, conviction and compassion to the headwinds that life will bring.

Two student speakers, chosen through a selection process with AU’s Student Government Association, delivered messages of taking risks to achieve great things, the importance of seeking community and embracing the process that is life.

“Although this milestone today marks one of our utmost achievements, it’s not the ultimate destination. Our forthcoming actions and achievements will lead us to a prosperous future, filled with love, accomplishments, happiness and personal development. It’s not to imply that we won’t stumble when taking turns venturing forward. But with a fall comes an opportunity to rise higher”

Deepali Giri, a graduate of the College of Nursing and student speaker for the Graduate Hooding and Commencement Ceremony

“Embrace the process. Embracing the process requires resilience, as it demands that you face your difficulties head on, while recognizing them as simply an opportunity to grow. If you patiently embrace the process, you can become someone that you and other people can be proud of.”

Justin Goddard, a graduate of the Hull College of Business, who served as student speaker for the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

Photos by Augusta University’s Michael Holahan and Savannah Evan Photography’s Paula Toole.

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Written by
Haley Crain

Haley Bourne Crain is the Communications Specialist for the Office of the Registrar at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at

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Avatar photo Written by Haley Crain

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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