Students from Georgia Northwestern Technical College's nine-county service area will exit the Dalton Convention Center on Thursday armed with the technical training needed to kick start their careers. The 2019 Fall Commencement Ceremony is at 7 p.m.

After students, administrators and faculty march into place during Processional, the Pledge of Allegiance will be conducted by Susan Bowman, instructor of Health Information Technology at GNTC. The invocation will be led by Troy Peco, instructor and director of Automotive Technology at GNTC.

Heidi Popham, president of GNTC, will welcome guests and introduce Brandon Neighbors, the 2019 GNTC Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership Winner, as the keynote commencement speaker for the evening.

Neighbors was the director of Youth Ministry at Rock Spring United Methodist Church, 2013-17, and was an officer in the United States Marine Corps, 2002-10. He attended the United States Naval Academy and earned a bachelor's degree in general engineering in 2002. As a Marine, Neighbors was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in 2009 and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in 2010.

Stuart Phillips, vice president of Student Affairs at GNTC, will recognize High Honor and Honor graduates. A special recognition for graduates who are veterans, Phi Beta Lambda members, SkillsUSA members, Student Government Association members and dual-enrollment high school students will also be led by Phillips.

Elizabeth Anderson, vice president of Academic Affairs at GNTC, will present the graduates with associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

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