by Bryan Lindenberger

More than 750 students graduated from the University of West Georgia Saturday, with keynote speaker Daniel Jackson encouraging them to remember, “Your attitude determines your altitude.”

Daniel Jackson
Daniel Jackson

During his retail career, Jackson served in many merchant leadership roles, including five years as the charter president of the Carrollton Main Street Program and helped begin the county’s first real estate re-development project, the Courtyard Square.

"Graduates, life will take you many places," said Jackson. “How far you go and how you fly is based on your attitude. Think big and be brave."

Commencement ceremonies were held at the UWG Coliseum at 9 a.m. for students graduating from the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Education, the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Social Sciences, the Richards College of Business, and the Tanner Health System School of Nursing.

A total of 753 undergraduate and graduate degrees were conferred for the summer semester, according to preliminary numbers, with approximately 550 students walking across the stage Saturday. Of those degrees, 376 were undergraduate, with 377 at the graduate level.

UWG Interim President Micheal Crafton said that this was a day of celebration, but also a day of gratitude.

"I want to thank you, the students, for working hard and sticking with it to get here today," Crafton told graduates. He also expressed gratitude and thanks to faculty for their research and creativity in pedagogy. “And I thank the families of the graduates, not only for their financial support, but for their emotional support.”

Khareem Leslie, president of UWG's Student Government Association, encouraged students to continue overcoming obstacles and continue growing. “Remember,” he said, “you can always call UWG home.”

Dr. Micheal Crafton
Dr. Micheal Crafton

Jackson’s remarks focused on having a positive attitude at work and to never stop learning.

“Learning is never over,” Jackson said. “Don’t go into a job or career expecting it to last a lifetime. On average today, a person has three careers. Make yourself useful and the person your employer cannot do without.”

Jackson earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and serves on the UWG Richards College of Business Advisory Board, the UWG College of Education Advisory Board, and the new Health and Community Wellness Advisory Board. He is a lifetime member and former president of the UWG Athletic Foundation Board. He has also served as president of the UWG Alumni Association, and he chaired ADAY in 1992.

Jackson serves on the executive committee of the Carroll County Education Collaborative. Over the last 45 years, Jackson has served in many leadership positions in church, civic, youth, education, business, healthcare, and the nonprofit community throughout Carroll County and Georgia. He is often asked to speak, facilitate, entertain, or emcee special events.

Jackson and his wife, Carol, moved to Carroll County as newlyweds in 1972 to complete his education at West Georgia College. The Jacksons have two adult children, Russ (wife, Karen) and Katie Nalls (husband, Chris) and seven grandchildren.

“Things can be replaced,” Jackson said. “Money can come and go, but family and friends are priceless.”

Jackson closed his remarks by encouraging graduates to never stop trying, even in the face of adversity and change.

“Life is about what you give, not what you get,” Jackson said. “I hope that graduates wake up every day and give it your best shot. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you.”

Posted on July 27, 2019