Georgiana native among Judson graduates

Published 8:23 am Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Family, students and friends jammed Alumnae Auditorium on the campus of Judson College in Marion on Saturday for the college’s 173rd annual commencement.

College president Dr. David Potts presided and awarded diplomas to the graduating seniors.

Among the graduates was Margaret Susanna Gaston of Georgiana.

Potts noted that the class of 2011 had distinguished themselves in and out of the classroom.

“This is a small class in comparison to others we’ve had, but a great class,” Potts said. “We applaud the application and stewardship of their minds. They did well academically, but they were also active in serving others. More than 85 percent of them participated in faith-based service and learning in this community and in the world.”

Former Alabama governor Albert P. Brewer was commencement speaker.

Following his service to Morgan County in the Alabama House of Representatives and as Speaker of the House, Brewer was elected Alabama’s 21st lieutenant governor in 1966 and became governor in 1968 following the death of Gov. Lurleen Wallace. He is now emeritus professor of law at the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University.

Before his address, Potts bestowed an honorary doctorate on Brewer, noting that he “demonstrated throughout his life an exemplary commitment both to his Christian faith and to public service.”

Brewer brought laughter to the crowd when he described the commencement address as the “ultimate and final ordeal” inflicted by “sadistic” academic institutions on their graduates.

“I’ve always had respect and admiration for Judson College,” Brewer said, noting that he’d served on the college’s Board of Advisors a number of years ago. “Graduates have distinguished themselves in many ways and in many places.

“Judson is among the 200 oldest colleges in America,” he said. “It’s true that most of the colleges in our nation founded as Christian institutions have deviated from their roots, but Judson has remained true to her Christian mission.”