April 25, 2019

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Sara Rice Named VSU College of Business Administration Top Graduate

VALDOSTA — Sara Brook Rice of Woodstock, Georgia, is the recipient of the Spring 2019 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in each of VSU’s six colleges — Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.

VSU will celebrate its 227th commencement on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11.

Rice will serve as the official banner carrier for the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, on the VSU Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting.

“It means everything to me to be named the top graduate of my college,” she said. “Not only am I No. 1 in my college, but I will also be the first person in my family to graduate college. I have worked so hard over the last few years to get where I am today. I am forever grateful for all the opportunities VSU has given me.”

As a student at VSU, Rice was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma: The International Business Honor Society and the Institute of Management Accountants, where she served as director of case studies and director of plant tours and events.

“I spent a lot of my time volunteering in animal rescue,” she said. “I am part of the United Saving Animals (USA) Rescue Team in Valdosta. I have helped at PetSmart adoption events. I have fostered countless dogs. I even helped shut down a puppy mill in Berrien County that had more than 700 dogs on one property. Saving animals is my passion. I love the fur babies and my rescue team.”    

Rice’s commitment to academic and service excellence resulted in her being recognized on the Dean’s List and being named a Georgia HOPE scholar every semester, as well as earning the Certified Management Accountant Scholarship, which covered the cost of her certification preparation materials and examination, and the Draffin and Tucker Scholarship.

Rice plans to continue her education at VSU after graduation and pursue a Master of Accountancy. Her dream is to be the chief financial officer of a major company someday, after working in the fields of public accounting and managerial accounting. She is the daughter of Richard Rice and Jennifer Smith.

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