ALBANY, GA (WALB) - On Saturday, May 6, 2017, hundreds of Albany State University graduates walked across the stage at the Albany Civic Center.
Carolyn Jernigan Glenn, dressed in her ceremonial cap and gown, walked in the graduation processional, something that she didn't get to do fifty years ago.
"I found out at the last minute that I needed one course in physical education to graduate, so I graduated in the summer and there was no march," Glenn said.
She, along with several others from the Class of 1967, joined the hundreds of 2017 graduates, including speech and theatre graduate Krista Barrett.
"I'm a little nervous, but more than anything excited that I've come to the end of this chapter in my life and I'm ready for the new one," Barrett told WALB News 10.
Both members from the Class of 1967 and 2017 admit times are changing. This ceremony marked the first graduation since the recent consolidation of Albany State University and Darton State College, now known as Albany State University's West Campus.
"I know that there are feelings on both sides, the ASU side and the Darton side, and I am just hopeful and prayerful that we can come together and make this the great institution that it should be," Glenn said.
"We get to not only expand our campus and our faculty, staff, and students, but we get to intertwine two cultures and learn more about everyone. So, I think it's a wonderful thing," Barrett said.
And more changes are coming. This week, Governor Deal signed the "Campus Carry" bill allowing licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses. Glenn said that she isn't a fan.
"Never in a million years. I don't like it. I don't see the necessity of it, I think it's going to cause more problems," Glenn said.
While Barrett said she believes in self-protection.
"I think as long as we are able to enforce and follow the rules then I think everything will be fine," Barrett said.
Glenn has some advice for ASU's newest graduates.
"My best advice is that they work hard, that they work to their potential," Glenn said.
And that's something that Barrett plans to do.
"As with anything in life, things can be discouraging. So, you have to encourage yourself and surround yourself with people who will encourage you to persevere on.
Glenn currently resides in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where she and her husband work on their newspaper, The Champion.
Barrett plans to continue her speech therapy research this summer at the University of Maryland.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.