South Georgia State College (SGSC) is pleased to announce its annual commencement ceremonies honoring the Summer 2021, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 Graduates.
The Douglas Campus Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. on the lawn in front of Peterson Hall. The Waycross Campus Ceremonies will take place on Friday May 13, 2022. The first ceremony will be at 12:30 p.m. and the second at 7:00 p.m., both at Waycross Campus High School.
For those unable to attend to attend the celebration, a live stream of each event will be available on the SGSC Facebook page.
The keynote speaker for the Douglas Campus ceremony will be Senator Blake Tillery. He was elected to the 19th District of Georgia in 2016. Senator Tillery represents Appling, Jeff Davis, Long, Montgomery, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne, Wheeler and portions of Liberty and Tattnall counties. District lines will be changed in 2023 to include Bacon and portions of Coffee County. Prior to serving in the Georgia Senate, Senator Tillery served as chairman of the Toombs County Commission. He previously served on the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha Regional Commission, the Heart of Georgia Workforce Investment Board, the Toombs County Boys and Girls Club Board, and co-chaired the Toombs-Montgomery Leadership program.
Sen. Tillery is Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Vice Chair of the State Institutions and Property Committee. He is also a member of the Committees on Justice, Economic Development and Tourism, and Redistribution and Redistribution.
Sen. Tillery graduated from the University of Georgia (UGA) in 2006 with a degree in International Affairs and from the UGA School of Law in 2010 with a Juris Doctorate. He was named a 2013 Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 honoree and is a 2015 graduate of the Georgia Leadership Class. Senator Tillery married Ashlee Nicole Sharer of Wayne County in 2016. They have one son, an 11-month-old named Johannes. The Tillerys reside in Vidalia, where Sen. Tillery is currently a Managing Partner at The Tillery Firm, PC
Sen. Tyler Harper will deliver the keynote address for the 12:30 p.m. start in Waycross. He was first elected to the Georgia Senate in 2012 and was sworn in in 2013 to serve in the 7th Georgia Senate District. A 7th generation farmer and small business owner who still uses his grandfather’s tractor in the fields and farms the same land as his family Sen. Harper has had a deep, personal appreciation for Georgia’s agribusiness industry – and millions – for over 100 years local growers she supports. Since 2013, Senator Harper has worked as a state senator to defend Georgia’s largest sector – where he currently chairs the Natural Resources, Public Safety, Rules, Appropriations and Agriculture Committees. In addition, Senator Harper currently serves as Vice Chair of the Southern Legislative Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development. Over the years he has championed our farms and farmers, worked to make them more competitive domestically and internationally and helped cultivate the next generation of Georgian agriculture. He has always put Georgia agriculture first to ensure our food supplies are safe and our families are fed.
Sen. Harper lives in Ocilla and is a lifelong resident of South Georgia. He graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering and holds an associate’s degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Sen. Harper is an active member of his community and has helped lead organizations across the state—from his local Rotary Club to the Georgia Young Farmers Association to the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. When he’s not serving the state at the Gold Dome or working on the family farm, Sen. Harper is enjoying the great outdoors, using his skills as a pilot or at the Satilla Baptist Church, where he plays in the band every Sunday.
Ms. Kristy Foreman, owner of Ellianos Coffee Company in Waycross, will deliver the opening address at the 7:00 p.m. ceremony on the Waycross campus.
Foreman was born in Ware County, grew up in Waresboro, and graduated from Ware County High School in 1997 with honors. One of the first in her family to go to college in three generations, Foreman attended the former Waycross College during the 1997-1998 school year before transferring to Valdosta State University (VSU), where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. During her time at VSU, she worked full-time, sometimes working three jobs. She took lessons when she was able and was a consistent name on the VSU Dean’s List.
After graduating from VSU in 2004, Foreman began her professional training as a commercial lender while working as a waitress and in hotel management. She relocated to Florida to work as Marketing Director at Chick-Fil-A, which she says sparked her passion for people and service. This passion would drive Foreman to apply for an Ellianos franchise.
Foreman’s application was approved in 2006. She returned to Waycross to open her shop on the corner of Knight Avenue and City Blvd. This little building has become a well-known place in Waycross, and Foreman is gearing up to celebrate her 15th anniversary with Ellianos this May.
People and service are still Foreman’s passions. Their mission is to serve the best coffee while serving the community that has supported their business. She and her staff have raised over $10,000 for local nonprofits by hosting awareness days and special events at Ellianos.
Foreman serves on several boards of local organizations and is the current chair of the Waycross-Ware County Planning Commission.
Foreman and her husband Cliff live in Waresboro with their youngest daughter Karly. They love spending time outdoors with family and compete in 3D archery tournaments in the southeastern United States when their schedules allow.
Their eldest daughter, Krista, is a former SGSC student who lives in Jacksonville with her husband Neal Gillis. Krista and Neal have a daughter, Emma, who Foreman calls “the family sweetheart.”
Foreman chose to return to Waycross to open Ellianos because she was raised in Waycross, most of her family lives in the area and her roots are deep in South Georgia and the swamp. She believes it is her responsibility to take care of the “village” where she grew up.