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Georgia first lady, general to speak during 2012 Georgia College commencements

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April 27, 2012

Georgia’s first lady and a U.S. Air Force general will address the 2012 Georgia College graduates during commencement exercises.

First Lady Sandra Deal, an alumna and former teacher, will speak to the 1,270 students receiving undergraduate degrees at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 5 on the front lawn of the university campus.

Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Ga., will speak to the 569 students receiving advanced degrees during the graduate commencement at 7 p.m. Friday, May 4 on the university’s front campus lawn.

The 2012 graduating class represents the largest in Georgia College history.

Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal

Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal Georgia First Lady Sandra DealThe first lady has centered her life around matters involving family and children in her roles as mother, grandmother, teacher and volunteer in her church. 

Born in Gainesville, Ga., the first lady earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees at then Georgia State College for Women. She chose teaching as her profession, following in her parents’ footsteps.

While at Georgia College, she met her husband, the Gov. Nathan Deal, on a blind date while he attended nearby Mercer University.

Sandra Deal’s approach to her platform as First Lady, “With a Servant’s Heart:”is  volunteerism, community involvement and outreach. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Georgia College & State University Foundation.

“When we reach out to become involved in helping mold a new beginning for another person, we bring hope for that individual and we in turn receive joy,” she said.

Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr.

Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr. Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr.As Chief of Air Force Reserve, Stenner serves as principal adviser on reserve matters to the Air Force Chief of Staff. As Commander of Air Force Reserve Command, he has full responsibility for the supervision of all U.S. Air Force Reserve units around the world.

Gen. Stenner, commissioned a second lieutenant in 1973 after completing Officer Training School, has served in various operational and staff assignments, including duty as an F-4C/D pilot, an F-16C pilot and an A-10 instructor pilot and operations officer. He has commanded four operations groups and two fighter wings. He earned his lieutenant general rank in June 2008.

The general has earned the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with silver and bronze oak leaf clusters and other distinctions.

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.

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