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Sutton (B.S.W.'10) Earns First Honor Graduate Distinction


Contact: Emily Williams

Posted Aug. 16, 2010

Cathy Sue Sutton (B.S.W. '10) was recognized as a First Honor Graduate at the University of Georgia's summer commencement exercises July 31. Sutton, a non-traditional student, earned the honor by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average in all of her undergraduate coursework.

"There isn't a secret to it, I just worked really hard," Sutton said. "I am a dedicated person and I made a commitment to do well."

Sutton had always harbored an interest in getting a nursing degree, but soon after high school she got married and started a family. She devoted herself to raising her son, Matt, and daughter, Beth. She worked in their school district once they started school. After her youngest child completed high school, Sutton began to consider her next career move. An acquaintance had told her about the medical social work field and Sutton decided to pursue it. She started her freshman year at Parkland College in Illinois at the same time as her daughter.

"My kids really encouraged me. They said, 'Mom, you can do this'," she said.

On her first day of college, one of her classmates asked if she was the teacher. "It had been 30 years since I'd been out of high school, it was pretty intimidating," she recalled.

Sutton transferred to UGA two years ago when her husband, Mark, was relocated from Illinois to Georgia for work. Sutton's biggest challenge at UGA was having to complete her Spanish requirement, which she thought she had fulfilled at Parkland College. Spanish was the last course she completed before graduating this summer. "I was just kind of holding my breath because it was the last class I took," she joked. She ended up with an A, of course.

Sutton was one of two students who received the First Honor Graduate distinction this summer. "The most rewarding thing was going through graduation," she said. Sutton was joined at the ceremony by her husband and kids.

"I felt very proud that I had achieved my goal of getting a degree at this stage in my life--my dedication and hard work had finally paid off," she said. "It was so rewarding to be publicly honored for my accomplishments at graduation; however, the ongoing encouragement, support and praise of my family was worth more than they'll ever know."

Sutton will return to the SSW this fall in the advanced standing MSW program.

 UGA Congratulates First Honor Graduates - UGA News Service