Georgia Regents University Freshman Pin Ceremony

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Hey Everybody, we were hired by Georgia Regents University to cover the pinning of the new freshman class. This freshman class will be the first class, that will go all four years with the new university name, so it was a pretty exciting day. It rained all day Friday, but that did not dampen the mood all over the campus. The university was filled with joy and anticipation as all of the new freshman met in the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre and were pinned by their professors. On hand, to speaking was Pulitzer Prize Winner Rick Bragg, who I found to be an amazing story teller. Below I am attaching the story written by the Augusta Chronicle. It was a very special day! And he even reminded the kids, if you have pizza left over and it is hard-Don’t eat it!

Pulitzer winner Bragg addresses GRU freshman class

Pulitzer winner was ‘very lucky’

By Susan McCord and MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF

The inaugural freshman class of Georgia Regents University got a reading assignment and an opportunity to meet the assignment’s Pulitzer Prize-winning author Friday.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg speaks Friday during Georgia Regents University’s freshman convocation at Maxwell Theatre. Bragg admitted he never finished his bachelor’s degree.

Rick Bragg, who rose from Alabama poverty to win the Pulitzer for feature writing for The New York Times, conceded at GRU freshman convocation that he had never completed the bachelor’s degree he began many years ago.

“I am technically a freshman at Jacksonville State University,” said Bragg, now a professor of writing at the University of Alabama.

Bragg said that he began writing when his “craft was still blue collar” – but that for all in the audience, that has changed.

Bragg said he had been “very lucky” to travel the world .

“I’ve seen a holy man at the edge of the Saudi desert sing and call a beautiful prayer” and had “a voodoo priest in Haiti look at me and try to turn me into a goat.”

“He was only half-successful,” Bragg said.

His hero, “a little bitty woman in south Alabama called Harper Lee,” managed to leave him nearly speechless, however.

Bragg said that in a meeting with Lee – a Pulitzer winner for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird – he could manage only four words, after showing her his Harper Lee Award for being Alabama’s distinguished writer of the year: “Yes ma’am, it’s huge.”

GRU freshman Dalton Long said he had just finished the reading assignment, Bragg’s All Over But the Shoutin’ and was impressed by the author.

“I wasn’t expecting him to be that cool,” Long said.

GRU President Ricardo Azziz said Bragg’s rise from poverty to great acclaim “could be a role model for many.”

“Mr. Bragg made the most of his opportunities,” Azziz said. “He knew that he needed to seize the moment to fulfill his role in his life.”

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