Georgia Southern graduate has 60 family members, friends coming to watch ‘biggest accomplishment’
Family is at the forefront of Georgia Southern computer science major Tracy Bridges’ life, and his upcoming commencement is no different. Bridges’ family, all 60 of them, can’t wait to see their graduate walk across the stage.
“Graduating is the biggest accomplishment I could achieve right now because it’s something that I told my grandparents I would do every time I visited them, and I pushed myself to do this for them and for my family,” Bridges said. “My mom’s mother, who lived to be 99 years old, almost made it to see me walk across the stage, but she passed away earlier in the year. It fueled me even more to ensure that I make all of them proud because they made me into the man that I am today.”
Bridges, who is from Macon, Georgia, has family spread across the country. His mother is the youngest of eight children, while his father is the youngest of 14, and he’s found a close-knit friend group at Georgia Southern. His family and friends are important to him because they have provided support during his college career.
“To have so many people coming feels truly amazing because it lets me know that I have made amazing choices with the things that I’ve done in my life,” Bridges said. “I feel all the love and respect that they have toward me, and I couldn’t tell them thank you enough for the support.”
Bridges has secured a job with Robins Air Force base in his hometown after graduation, but the first step of his post-commencement plan he jokes is to sleep for two days. The second step is spending time with friends and family, a lot of whom he met at Georgia Southern.
“I have friends that I don’t truly remember how we met, but they are the closest thing to family that I have here,” Bridges said. “I have friends who I don’t know what their names are, but they will always have my back no matter what. I have friends who graduated before me, but they will come back to see me and catch up.”
Bridges said Georgia Southern’s family atmosphere and hospitality is perfect for someone who holds friends and family at such a high regard like he does.
“The people that I’ve met are truly amazing, and without Georgia Southern I would have never come into contact with them,” Bridges said. “Georgia Southern introduced me to my loving and amazing girlfriend and for that, I am forever grateful. Without Georgia Southern my family could be very small, but now it’s bigger than ever.”