Kennesaw State University celebrates 100,000th graduate

100,000th graduateJuly 30, 2015 - Kennesaw State University reached a milestone during its Class of 2015 commencement ceremonies, celebrating its 100,000th graduate as 1,212 students earned their diplomas Wednesday. Another 361 students are set to graduate in ceremonies at KSU’s Marietta campus on Saturday.

Hundreds of students walked proudly onto stage wearing black and gold graduation regalia to receive their diplomas, including 22-year-old Laura Pyronneau -- who found out she would be the 100,000th KSU graduate just an hour before receiving her diploma.

“It was awesome,” Pyronneau said of the distinction. “I love Kennesaw State University.”

Hundreds of students walked proudly onto stage wearing black and gold graduation regalia to receive their diplomas, including 22-year-old Laura Pyronneau -- who found out she would be the 100,000th KSU graduate just an hour before receiving her diploma.

“It was awesome,” Pyronneau said of the distinction. “I love Kennesaw State University.”

Pyronneau, of Douglasville, majored in biology at KSU and works as a pharmacy technician at Kroger on Canton Road in Marietta. Next year, Pyronneau said she plans to apply for pharmacy school.

During her time at KSU, Pyronneau said she made many friends and loved her experience.

“I loved all my classes, and the study abroad experience was (great),” she said. “I definitely feel like I’m ready to go out into the world now.” 

Kennesaw State University President Dan Papp said the fact that KSU has graduated more than 100,000 students is a testament to the university’s success.

“It means this institution, with the consolidation with Southern Poly, is truly a major university now. We’re one of the 50 largest universities in the country,” he said.

As Pyronneau was called onto stage to receive her diploma, Papp briefly mentioned that she was the 100,000th graduate. Along with her diploma, Pyronneau will also be taking home a certificate in recognition of the landmark she represents.

To the new graduates, Papp offered a word of advice. 

“As they look for a job, go on to graduate school, or whatever they do, just remember that you’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to take care of yourself, and you’ve got to take care of other people,” Papp said.

After opening the graduation ceremonies, Papp said the commencements represented a proud moment for each student earning a diploma.

“When you receive your degree this afternoon, it doesn’t mean you are done learning,” Papp told the students. “You are at a new beginning, not an ending.”

Papp asked the graduating students to stand if they held down a job while attending school, and nearly the entire class stood as the audience cheered and applauded.

Ike Reighard, CEO of MUST Ministries and senior pastor of Piedmont Church, spoke at the undergraduate ceremonies Wednesday and congratulated the students for their hard work.

“Think about where you’ve come from,” Reighard said, noting success should be measured by the obstacles each graduate had to rise above to reach their goals. “I’m sure that some of you have overcome the odds today.”

Reighard said charisma, character and competency will help the graduates be successful in all of their endeavors. 

KSU held three commencement ceremonies on the main campus Wednesday, with two undergraduate ceremonies and a ceremony for graduate students in the evening.

At the graduate ceremony, Mason Zimmerman, chairman of the Town Center Area Community Improvement District, was the guest speaker.

Read more:  The Marietta Daily Journal - Kennesaw State University celebrates 100,000th graduate

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