VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Governor Nathan Deal will deliver the keynote address during Valdosta State University's Spring 2017 commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, the university announced Monday.
"Graduation is a defining moment in every student's life," said Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU. "We are excited that the governor of this great state will help us pay tribute to the outstanding efforts of our spring graduates and celebrate education as the foundation upon which success is built. These students have had to overcome any number of challenges to reach this point in their life's journey. It is that very perseverance that protects and nurtures Blazer Nation's 100-plus-year-old tradition of academic, creative, athletic, research, and service excellence. This weekend we celebrate not an ending but the beginning of many great things to come."
A Sandersville native and United States Army veteran, Deal was elected the 82nd governor of Georgia in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Under his leadership, Georgia has been named the No. 1 state in the nation for business four years in a row — a first in Georgia history. Since taking office in January 2011, he has helped create more than 575,000 private sector jobs.
The state continues to grow local small businesses and attract top companies from around the world thanks to his tax reform, workforce development, and investment in education and infrastructure initiatives.
Deal has led Georgia to produce six balanced budgets, save millions of taxpayer dollars by maintaining a AAA bond rating, and grow the Rainy Day Reserve Fund to more than $2 billion. To keep up with a growing infrastructure demand, he implemented a number of investments in Georgia's transportation system, including the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, which will generate $10 billion in new transportation funding over 10 years. Transportation projects under his watch have already alleviated traffic and improved safety for a growing state.
More than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students will be recognized during Valdosta State University's 223rd commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6.
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