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Our amazing May Melton has done it again

I have been to a lot of graduation ceremonies but, although I am a UGA grad, I had never been to commencement in Athens until this past weekend. What an extravaganza it was. Sorry Jackets, Tigers, Gators, Vols and the rest of y’all but Bulldogs do things with true class. The Terry College of Business commencement was held in Stegeman Coliseum and was impressive. Her undergraduate ceremony was held in Sanford Stadium and it was something to behold. There was pomp, circumstance and great speeches in which no one, thankfully, quoted Lil Wayne. Both events took place before huge throngs of proud parents, grandparents and siblings. The evening started as do football games with a lone trumpeter sounding ‘Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia’ from the upper deck. It took just under an hour for all the undergrads to process in. There were tributes to students who died during the course of their academic careers. There were classical selections and marches from the Redcoats. The faculty marched between the hedges adorned in all their academic regalia. The speakers were Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of the country group Lady Antebellum. Both are 2004 UGA grads. Their remarks were both poignant and witty. They closed with a rendition of Ray Charles’ ‘˜Georgia On My Mind’ which brought the house down. When all the tassels had been turned, the lights went out, the Redcoats launched into football fight songs and fireworks lit the night sky over the best college town in America. I nearly wept. I found myself wishing Lewis Grizzard could have been there to see it. He and Catfish would have been proud. We were there, of course, to watch our beloved May Melton Geiger who excelled, graduating magna cum laude with three majors ‘“ international business, marketing and Spanish. We are so proud but her excellence came as no surprise really. Laura read to her while she was still in the womb and she read very early, mastering language and grammar skills along the way. That is rare. Just spend a few minutes on Facebook if you don’t believe it. Early on, we gave her a computer ‘“ one of the early fruit colored iMacs. She understood it intuitively from the beginning and ripped through software designed to teach math and reading skills. She mastered Spanish while still in elementary school. She read the Harry Potter books as quickly as they came out which was fitting because she is undeniably a wizard in her own right. On field trips to museums, rock quarries, Indian mounds and the like, the other kids would just stroll through. May Melton was always the last one out. She stopped at every exhibit and soaked up the knowledge from each. Our grad has a strong Christian faith and a servant’s heart. During finals week, a dear friend of hers suffered an unspeakable family tragedy. May Melton stepped in to comfort and serve when she was needed most. As her friends left for the post graduation trip to the beach, she was at a funeral, comforting that family in their time of need. Best of all, May Melton has been a wonderful role model for her little sister Livia Lanier, our next superstar who will be headed to Athens to make her own mark in just a few short weeks. Time flies. We went from diapers to first proms in no time flat. There came the day when they no longer hugged Daddy at school drop off and the day they drove off to school by themselves. There are so many memories and so many more to be made. Time flies and it whisks us along in its wake whether we want to go or not. Roll with it. Live each day to the fullest. Make memories. One day, and it won’t be long, you will cherish them! Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette and Pike County Journal Reporter.

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