FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 8, 2009
Contact: Robert Preston, Jr.,
Dr. Belle Wheelan addresses SGC graduates
“We’re all depending on you terribly. The future of this
nation is on your shoulders, and that’s an awesome responsibility,” said Dr.
Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Thursday morning at SGC’s 80th
Wheelan is the first African American and the first woman to serve in as
president of the Commission on Colleges. Her career spans 35 years and
includes the roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus
provost, college president and Secretary of Education. In several of those
roles she was the first African American and/or woman to serve in those
Dr. Wheelan received her Bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in Texas
(1972) with a double major in Psychology and Sociology; her Master’s from
Louisiana State University (1974) in Developmental Educational Psychology;
and her Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin (1984) in
Educational Administration with a special concentration in community college
She told the students that the skills they had obtained during their years
at SGC would preserve the power of the United States. Dr. Wheelan also
reminded the graduates that they are living in a very unique time. “Many of
the jobs you will be competing for haven’t been created yet. It’s a very
exciting time,” she said.
Dr. Wheelan left the graduating class with five lessons:
Believe in a power higher than yourself.
Be as kind to the janitor as you are the chairman of the
board. “No one is more important than anyone else,” she said.
Learn to laugh. “Lighten up. Life isn’t that serious.”
Take care of yourself – your mind, body and soul. “You
must stay strong – physically, mentally and spiritually.”
In closing, Dr. Wheelan reminded the graduates that learning is a life-long
endeavor. “Don’t let the celebration today end your learning. Stay open to
learning your whole life,” she said.
Over 240 students graduated Thursday morning.
Photo #1: Jordan Williams accepts his diploma from SGC
president Dr. Virginia Carson.
Photo #2: Tammarai Smith was one of the 240 graduates in the Class of 2009.
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About South Georgia State College
South Georgia State College (www.sgc.edu)
was founded in 1906 and is a two-year institution in the University System
of Georgia. Located in Douglas, Ga., the college's environment gives
students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close
collaboration with faculty.