STC Spring 2024 Commencement


Southeastern Technical College (STC) held its 2024 commencement ceremonies on May 7, in Vidalia. Degree, diploma, technical certificate of credit, and high school equivalency graduates were honored. “Receiving a credential from STC is a major life milestone and significantly enhances the futures of our graduates and their families. We are proud of the work we do at STC, and we share that pride with our graduates who have worked so hard to earn their credentials. Career opportunities for our graduates have never been brighter, and they are all to be congratulated and celebrated,” said President Larry Calhoun.

President Calhoun welcomed the graduating class and guests on behalf of the Southeastern Tech faculty, staff, and the Technical College System of Georgia. "Congratulations on your hard work and dedication that led you here tonight," said Mr. Calhoun. "As you begin the next chapter of your life, I encourage each of you to find your passion in what you do, love those around you, believe in a higher purpose, and work to positively impact the greater good of your communities." Of the 887 graduates from the academic year 2023-2024, 155 graduates chose to participate Tuesday evening, with some students obtaining more than one certificate. One thousand one hundred thirty-four awards were conferred.

STC Board of Directors Chair Chris Hopkins introduced Mike Hagan as the keynote speaker. Hagan is the Vice President of Operations at Memorial Health Meadow's Hospital, where he has been an integral part of the executive team since 2017. His journey began with the hospital in 2011. Mike is an alumnus of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has extensive prior experience in operations and technology leadership in the financial services industry with both Wachovia Bank and Capital One Bank. Mike is an active member of the community and serves as the Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of the Greater Vidalia Chamber of Commerce.

Hagan’s address to the graduates began with a challenge, "Opportunities abound for the one who seizes it. Job demand is still outpacing supply. Though the unemployment rate is low, the number of open positions still outweighs the number of workers. You are our future. Let me share with you some of the more important pearls of wisdom that I am confident will make a profound difference in your life. Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Seek first to serve rather than to be served. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And most importantly, love your neighbors as you love yourself. As you can see, these are easy to say but hard to do. Let me encourage you to put forth the effort. The journey of life is not just about the destination but about all the amazing experiences that are yours along the way." Hagan attributed Abraham Lincoln as having said, "Whatever you are, be a good one." He encouraged the graduates to be mindful of more doors opening as a result of hard work. "Do your best, and it will serve you well.”

The presentation of diplomas was carried out by President Calhoun, assisted by Hagan and Hopkins. Honor graduates, students enrolled in a degree or diploma program and have an overall grade point average of at least 3.75, were distinguished in gold honor cords. Members of the National Society of Leadership and Success, SkillsUSA, and Student Government Association were recognizable by stoles and pins. "Graduation day at STC is always a joyous and memorable occasion, and it holds a special place in my heart for several reasons. First and foremost, it's an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our students as they embark on new career paths, ready to make their mark on the world. Moreover, we are privileged to hear inspiring words of wisdom from our exceptional guest speakers, who never fail to leave a lasting impact on our graduates and the entire STC community. This year's graduation ceremony was no exception, as we were honored to have Mike Hagan deliver a powerful and thought-provoking address," said Dr. Barry Dotson, Vice President for Student Affairs.

STC offers more than 90 programs of study. Automotive, business, childcare, criminal justice, cybersecurity, healthcare, industrial maintenance, and machine tool technology are among the programs offered to prepare students for numerous careers. For more information on educational opportunities at Southeastern Technical College, visit or call (912) 538-3100 or (478) 289-2200.