In addition to its annual recognition of student and faculty awards and the college’s reaffirmation of its commitment to its mission and vision, the fall 2015 academic convocation ceremony included two special presentations in honor of the college’s 10th anniversary.
“By their very nature, anniversaries are times of celebration. They also are times for reflection – for remembering notable events, outstanding accomplishments and special people. In fact, special events and accomplishments often are linked to special people,” said Dr. Stas Preczewski, president. “This morning, we recognize and celebrate one individual who played the key role in charting the course for our institution and the success we enjoy today. That special person is Dr. Daniel J. Kaufman, Georgia Gwinnett College’s charter president, chief visionary and founding father.”
Kaufman served as GGC president from 2005 to 2013, when he departed the college to serve as president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. A former U.S. Army brigadier general and chief academic officer for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he took on the challenging task of building the first four-year, public college in Georgia in more than 100 years.
Before Kaufman presented the ceremony’s keynote address, he and Preczewski unveiled Kaufman’s official presidential portrait. The portrait will hang outside of the President’s Office in Building B. The portrait was created by Rod Reilly, GGC’s staff photographer.
The event also included the introduction of the college’s ceremonial mace. Derived from ancient weaponry, maces became adorned and adapted for ceremonial use during the Middle Ages and are borne by a designated official during processions for parliamentary occasions or for formal academic ceremonies. Ceremonial maces are usually all metal or wood, or some combination of the two.
However, Georgia Gwinnett’s mace contains a unique combination of materials selected to represent the many parts of the college community. While some materials reflect traditional meanings, others represent the modern, high-tech era in which GGC was founded.
It is likely that GGC has the only mace in the nation illuminated with an L.E.D., a feature that evoked an enthusiastic, “Oooooh,” from the audience.
GGC’s senior faculty member, Dr. Sam Peppas, professor of marketing and international business and GGC’s first faculty member, was the first to bear the mace at the conclusion of the ceremony.
The GGC mace will be used for all convocation and commencement ceremonies, and at other events at the discretion of the President’s Office.
“GGC’s success is a testament to Dr. Kaufman’s inspiring leadership, incredible vision and tireless dedication. We appreciate his continued service to Gwinnett County, the State of Georgia, our nation and world. Georgia Gwinnett College will forever stand as his legacy to higher education.”
– Dr. Stas Preczewski, President
Photos of the Convocation ceremony and awardees: