ABAC awards graduation award to David and Kim Bridges

December 4 – TIFTON – A delicious smile of surprise and appreciation danced across the faces of Agricultural College President Abraham Baldwin, David Bridges, and his wife, Kim, as the ABAC Alumni Association presented its award on most prestigious to baccalaureate graduates in their honor.

During the graduation ceremony in the fall, one of two held by ABAC, Melissa Pierzchajlo, President-elect of the ABAC Alumni Association, said: “From today and at From that day on, the ABAC Alumni Association changes the name of its award to most ABAC graduates who participate in the ceremony and receive bachelor’s degrees to the David and Kim Bridges award. Thank you for everything you have done for ABAC. “

The Bridges are both 1978 ABAC alumni, who met while they were ABAC students in Rosalyn Donaldson’s English class. Bridges is the only ABAC president to ever be a college student. He is also the longest-serving president among the 26 colleges and universities in the Georgia university system and the longest-serving president in ABAC history.

“It’s a wonderful surprise for both of us,” said Bridges. “Kim and I both love ABAC, and we will always treasure our time here. I have always said that there are two kinds of people in this world, those who have come to ABAC and those who would like to. We are. happy to have come to ABAC. “

Now in his 16th year as ABAC President, Bridges announced his impending retirement in September. He is expected to retire this year, but told the college system’s Board of Regents that he was prepared to stay at least until the early spring 2022 ceremony if his successor was not chosen by then.

Pierzchajlo cited the many accomplishments of the Bridges during their time at ABAC.

“They have dedicated themselves to the betterment of this college and its students,” Pierzchajlo said. “They attended student events, Foundation events, alumni activities and much more.

“A few years ago Kim and Dr Bridges wanted to celebrate the ABAC alumni who had served this country with distinction. This is how the Freedom Gallery at Tift Hall was born. The Freedom Gallery is a tribute to Harold Bascom Durham Jr., the only ABAC Alumnus to receive the Medal of Honor. The room also honors all American veterans.

Pierzchajlo also mentioned the historic campus facade project which revitalized the three original campus buildings, the addition of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture to the campus, and the consolidation of Bainbridge State College into ABAC.

It is appropriate that the early baccalaureate award was chosen to bear the Bridges ‘names, as ABAC began offering bachelor’s degrees during Bridges’ tenure. The college had offered only associate’s degrees in the previous 75 years before offering junior and senior level courses in 2008.

The first graduates of the ABAC bachelor’s degree graduated in 2009. Bridges says the addition of bachelor’s degrees is ABAC’s main achievement during its tenure.

The award for the best associate graduate attending the ceremony has long been called the George P. Donaldson Award in honor of the president of ABAC who served from 1947 to 1961.

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