First graduate recalls first commencement and career as GHC prepares to celebrate 50 years

In 1971, Claudia Williams Taxel is the lone graduate of a small college in Rome, Georgia, in its infancy. She stands with the college president, David McCorkle, and the dean, Wesley Walraven, in a newly constructed building, as a photo is snapped for the local newspaper. Her two-year diploma in education is conferred, and she and her father, Floyd County Commission Chairman Charles Williams, pose together for another photo Claudia still has to this day.

Read the full story on GHC’s 50th Celebration page at