Emmanuel College Hold Graduation Ceremony

Approximately 120 graduates walked across the court of the Shaw Athletic Center to receive their diplomas from Emmanuel College on Saturday, May 6. 

This year’s 2023 Valedictorians included Jessica Adams, Valentina Aloisio, Zuzanna Malinowska (bachelor’s degree) Jewelianna Ayers (associate degree valedictorian). 

Jewelianna Ayers of Homer. Ga.  was named the valedictorian of the associate degree class. 

Jessica Adams of Madison County, Ga. (Dual Elementary/Special Education), Valentina Aloisio of La Paz, Bolivia (Business Administration), and Zuzanna Malinoswka of Wroclaw, Poland (Business Management) were named the valedictorians of the bachelor’s degree class. 

This year’s Faculty Award winner was Alexis Walker of Birmingham, AL. 

Each year, faculty and staff members are recognized for admirable performance in their duties and service to the college and campus community. 

The Lee H. and Lucille Firebaugh Memorial Award was presented to Dr. Sue Weaver. 

Dr. Vicki Hollinshead was awarded the annual Vulcan Award.

The Lorraine Wells Melton Support Staff Award was given to Mr. Tres Ward and Mr. Jonathan Brown. 

Dr. Mark Trump and Dr. Jason McCary were awarded the President Thomas L. Aaron Award and Honorarium. 

Emmanuel alumna, Mrs. Leslie Earnest McFarlin (’02) served as the 2023 Commencement speaker. Mrs. McFarlin currently serves as the Vice President for Economic Development at North Georgia Technical College. 

This year’s Commencement Speaker was Mrs. Leslie McFarlin who shared her testimony with the graduates, hoping that it would encourge them to leave a legacy they are proud of. 

McFarlin said her journey through college was not an easy one. 

She was married and had a child at age 19 while attending EC and was hiding a secret; she was living in domestic violence, brought on by her husband’s alcoholism and mental illness.

With the support of family and friends, McFarlin said she found the courage to leave the abusive situation and focus on her family. 

Her husband later died. 

McFarlin encouraged the class of 2023 to trust the Lord, even when things get tough. 

She closed by encouraging the graduates to blaze trails, outlive their life, and leave a legacy they’re proud of.