Athens Technical College set to hold graduation exercises May 4-5

Athens Technical College set to hold graduation exercises May 4-5

Athens Technical College will celebrate graduates during its annual commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall at The Classic Center. A ceremony for high school equivalency graduates from Adult Education will follow on May 5 at 10 a.m. in the auditorium on the College’s main campus in Athens.

Over 300 students are expected to walk in the academic ceremony Thursday, which does not require tickets for graduates or guests.

Michael L. Thurmond, CEO of DeKalb County, Georgia will give the keynote address. Since his Jan. 1, 2017 swearing-in, Thurmond’s primary mission is restoring trust in county government.  His other priorities include adopting a balanced budget, ensuring accurate water bills, removing blight, offering summer youth employment, improving employee compensation, and fulfilling the federal/state sewer consent agreement.

Thurmond was raised as a sharecropper’s son in Clarke County, Georgia. He graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and religion from Paine College and later earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina’s School of Law. He also completed the Political Executives program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 1986, he became the first African-American elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Clarke County since Reconstruction. During his legislative tenure, Thurmond authored major legislation that provided more than $250 million in tax relief to Georgia’s senior citizens and working families.

Alyson Cagle Gilleland will give the keynote for the adult education/high school equivalency graduation on May 5. She currently serves as vice president of training and development at Arrow Exterminators, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in training implementation and professional development. She graduated with an associate degree in marketing management from Athens Technical College. Gilleland is also a Certified Professional in Talent Development by the Association of Talent Development.

“We are looking forward to another terrific celebration of the accomplishments of our students,” said ATC President Andrea Daniel. “Our graduates play an integral role in the workforce including healthcare, manufacturing, service, and other fields. Their credentials are evidence of their excellent training and motivation for career success.”

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For more information, please contact Josh Paine, Executive Director of PR & Institutional Advancement at (706) 583-2552 or

Commencement Speakers
Commencement Speakers
Michael L. Thurmond, CEO of DeKalb County, Georgia, and Alyson Gilleland, vice president of training for Arrow Exterminators, will give the keynote address at the Athens Technical College commencement and high school equivalency ceremonies, respectively, on May 4 and 5.