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Nursing students continue ASU tradition at GRU graduation

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 12:50 PM
Last updated 6:51 PM
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They will join more than 1,000 others in the first graduation ceremony for Georgia Regents University, but for many nursing students who began at the former Augusta State University, it will be like graduating from their old program.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will speak at commencement 2 p.m. May 10 at James Brown Arena.

All nine colleges will also hold ceremonies in the days before commencement to hand out individual honors, but the College of Nursing will hold two ceremonies, one for former Georgia Health Sciences University nursing students and one for former ASU students. While the two schools were merged under consolidation last year, the students who started under different programs were allowed to finish out their curriculum, and that will continue for the next two semesters, with the final ASU curriculum students graduating in 2014, said Dr. Jean Pawl, the program director of the ASU track.

“Our first GRU class should graduate in May 2015,” she said.

While they are in the same building, the two nursing curriculums are separate.

“We don’t ever see the other students” from the GHSU track, former ASU student Caitlin Pye said. “Plus we still have all of the same faculty. There hasn’t been any faculty crossover yet.”

“We haven’t noticed any changes,” former ASU student Tania Widener said.

“Other than location,” former ASU student Matthew Lewis said. In fact, going to the library on the Summerville campus now has a nostalgic feel, he said.

“It’s just a walk down memory lane, like going back to your old high school,” Lewis said.

“But we love our new classrooms because we can actually stretch out,” Widener said.

The former GHSU students will hold a convocation at 4 p.m. May 9 at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way, and the former ASU students will hold their pinning ceremony at 7 p.m. May 9 at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre on the Summerville Campus.

“I do feel the pinning is more personal because it is class specific,” Lewis said. “It’s going to be our graduating class together with the faculty.”

After all they have been through together, “we’re like family,” Widener said.
They plan to go to graduation, which has been in the planning for almost a year, said Dale Hartenburg, the director of student services.

More than 90 percent of those eligible said in a recent survey that they plan to show up for the ceremony, and students were limited to six tickets for family and friends so more than 5,600 were issued, with 7,400 total packing the arena for the event, Hartenburg said.

A couple of changes were made to the ceremony to keep it within a couple of hours in length but each name will be read, he said.

“We still are recognizing every graduate individually,” Hartenburg said.

While Pye debated whether to attend graduation, being the first of her siblings to graduate is a big deal that her family wanted to celebrate.

“My family said, ‘You need to, we want to see you walk across the stage,’ ” she said. “So I’m going to do it for them more than for me.”

All students will receive a GRU diploma, but students who began under Medical College of Georgia, GHSU or ASU can receive a commemorative diploma from that school at no additional cost.

Asked which one she plans to display, Widener diplomatically said, “Both.”


Other Georgia Regents University colleges holding ceremonies before commencement at 2 p.m. May 10:

  • Medical College of Georgia will hold its hooding ceremony at 2 p.m. May 9 at Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St.
  • The Hull College of Business Reception and Master’s of Business Administration hooding ceremony will be at 6 p.m, May 9 in the Allgood Hall North Stairwell on the Summerville Campus.
  • The Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences graduation ceremony will be at 9 a.m. May 10 in the Jaguar Student Activities Center on the Summerville Campu.;
  • The College of Dental Medicine hooding ceremony will be at 10 a.m. May 10 at First Baptist Church of Augusta.
  • The College of Allied Health Sciences hooding and honors ceremony will be at 6 p.m. May 9 at Bell Auditorium.
  • The College of Education ceremony will be at 3 p.m. May 9 at the Jaguar Student Activities Center.
  • The College of Graduate Studies hooding ceremony will be at 8 a.m. May 10 at Warren Baptist Church, 3203 Washington Road.
  • The College of Science and Mathematics reception will be at 4:30 p.m. May 9 in the Science Building lobby on the Summerville Campus.
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my.voice 04/23/13 - 01:15 pm

Eggs optional....................GRadUAtion.............GRUUUAAAAAAA

******All students will receive a GRU diploma but students who began under MCG, GHSU or ASU can receive a commemorative diploma from that school at no additional cost*****

All for 19.95! that's right, only 19.95! But wait, if you call RIGHT NOW, we will send you TWO, that's right, TWO MCG or ASU diplomas for only the cost of additional handling.

Call NOW - 1-888-AZZ-IZ00

(Free use of the campus bus included with your order, so dont delay!)

gderlitz 04/23/13 - 03:55 pm
Keep the GRU diploma.

How about they save the printing of the GRU diploma and just give my son the ASU diploma he has worked for 5 years. We want nothing GRU in our home and we have already bought the ASU diploma frame and ring. I can only imagine how utterly entertaining sitting through 1000 graduates will be. Ugh...!

Sweet son
Sweet son 04/23/13 - 07:19 pm
GRU Augusta will have to do since......

it has been shoved down our throats. To the powers that be whoever they are please come up with names for the ASU and MCG campuses so that we can read AC articles and immediately know by the tag lines which campus we are reading about!

Riverman1 04/24/13 - 11:01 am

Sweet Son, that name thing is a problem. I see they now call ASU the Summerville campus often. So what's the other campus called to make it clear we are talking about it? I hope the public uses the name Frog Hollow campus.

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