On Friday, more than 1,000 students graduated from Georgia Regents University at the JBA, in a ceremony that lasted about 3 hours.
This is the first class to graduate after Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University consolidated in January.
Augusta can count more than 1,000 graduates after Georgia Regents University graduated its first class.
“It's been a lifelong dream to become a physician so Friday is the culmination of many, many years of hard work,” said Tequilla Pryor.
Many schools held separate hooding ceremonies earlier in the week.
“This year is the first year they've consolidated so it may be a little longer but I think they'll be conscientious of the time,” said Pryor.
But some students say they boycotted graduation because of the sheer volume of the graduating class.
“I have mixed feelings about. It's kind of weird. I am kind of used to MCG/GHSU. This is a bit weird,” said Elizabeth Nguyen.
“I just heard that some people opted because of the comfort level especially for older family members,” said Pryor.
All graduates received a GRU diploma – but had the option of getting an ASU or MCG diploma but only the GRU one is official.
“I came in as MCG and it has a rich history. I am really proud of my institution and we are adding more history with ASU with their own history,” said Pryor.
Friday's graduation also marked the last group of ASU's nursing students under the old curriculum.
“I think it is monumental because it is the first class of the union of the 2 schools,” said Dr. Lisa Stephens.
“You only graduate medical school once so why miss this,” said Pryor.
“It is amazing and historical, and something I'll be able to say – we were part of that first class,” said Pryor.
Each graduating student received 6 tickets for guests – and those who didn't have tickets, had to move to the Bell Auditorium. Governor Nathan Deal was the keynote speaker at today's graduation at GRU.