2017 Valedictorian Reception

by Cory Hopkins | June 2017

Almost 400 Georgia high school valedictorians and their families visited the Governor’s Mansion June 16-17 for the 24th annual Governor’s Valedictorian Reception.

Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal hosted the annual reception at the Governor’s Mansion to celebrate Georgia high school valedictorians and their families. First hosted by Governor Zell Miller in 1993, the reception is co-sponsored by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) and the Governor’s Office.

Because of the large number of students invited, the Valedictorian Reception is divided into three sessions: students from Metro Atlanta schools are recognized on Friday evening; students from North Georgia are recognized on Saturday morning; and students from South Georgia attend on Saturday afternoon. This year, 66 valedictorians across the state of Georgia are planning to attend Georgia Tech. Vice Provost Colin Potts and Associate Vice Provost Steven Girardot were present to talk to incoming Georgia Tech students and their families while they waited in line to have their pictures taken with the Governor and the First Lady.

Students were also greeted by several members of the Georgia Tech SGA (pictured above): Sujay Peramanu, Undergraduate SGA President; Richard Wang, Undergraduate SGA Vice President; and Evelyn Owens, their Chief of Staff. The SGA representatives acted as ambassadors for Tech, and were there to answer questions and offer support to those who are headed to campus this Summer or Fall. As a special touch, each student heading to Tech was given a personalized welcome bag. Tech's number of committed valedictorians was second only to The University of Georgia, which had 99.

In addition to the valedictorians and their guests, the annual reception is attended by board members of the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Board of Directors, the Georgia Student Finance Commission Board of Commissioners and the State of Georgia Board of Education.

Valedictorians who attend a HOPE-eligible postsecondary institution in Georgia and meet all other eligibility requirements are eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship, administered by GSFC, which covers full standard tuition. The Zell Miller Scholarship is a subset of Georgia’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship Program, a merit-based scholarship program available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement.