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Clayton State graduates 440 students

MORROW—Clayton State University’s annual Fall Commencement ceremony awarded 440 students with their undergraduate or master’s degrees as part of two ceremonies.

Clayton State President Dr. Thomas J. Hynes described the ceremony as, “a very important day for our graduates and their families. This was a really exceptional event.”

Speaking to the graduates from the colleges of Business, Health, and Information and Mathematical Sciences at the 9 a.m. ceremony was Dr. Willie Cochran Jr., senior vice president and medical affairs/CMO at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale.

The keynote speaker at the noon ceremony for the graduates from the College of Arts & Sciences was Roosevelt Giles, founder of IMS/EndPoint Consulting Group, and vice chairman of the Board of Atlanta Life Financial Group, Herndon Capital Management.

“No matter how far you go in education, it is the dedication to one’s own ideas and convictions that will set you apart,” Cochran told the audience at the 9 a.m. ceremony. In addition to his medical degree, Cochran also holds an MBA.

Cochran earned his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1979 and graduated from Methodist Hospital’s surgical residency program in 1984. He maintained a private practice in Indianapolis until his move to Georgia in 1991.

He joined the Southern Regional Medical Center medical staff in 1992 as a general surgeon.

While Giles was born in Union, S.C., as the son of sharecroppers and finding work early in life picking cotton, he quickly advanced in education, earning a B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in computer science from the University of South Carolina and Limestone College.

He founded IMS/EndPoint Consulting Group, foreseeing the need for consulting, design, and management services that focused on networking-diverse computer systems to make data processing transparent to users.

Not surprisingly, Giles focused his remarks on technology, especially mobile technology.

“This is a very exciting time, and you are the first generation to be fully-connected,” he said. “The nerds have now won! Long live the nerds!”

“We have not yet scratched the surface in terms of what mobile technology can do. Products and services are turning into software that allows the masses to participate. There are endless possibilities and opportunities. The answers are in your hands.”

A unit of the University System of Georgia where dreams are made real, Clayton State University is located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.