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Franklin College alumna to deliver 2024 commencement address

Alan Flurry

Four-time Olympian and 10-time Olympic medalist in swimming Allison Schmitt will deliver the spring undergraduate Commencement address at the University of Georgia on Friday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Sanford Stadium.

Schmitt, who received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UGA in 2014, was elected captain by her teammates at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. She is still the current American record holder in the 200 meter freestyle, which she has held since 2009.

Schmitt is also an avid mental health advocate, and she has spoken widely about her personal struggles with depression and the loss of a family member to suicide. Schmitt is passionate about helping those battling mental health issues, and she graduated in May 2023—10 years after earning her bachelor’s degree from UGA—with a master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University.

She plans to use her degrees, her athletic experiences and her education skills to empower others to overcome personal battles.

Graduate speaker Jenna Jambeck, a 2022 MacArthur Fellow and founder of the Circularity Informatics Lab at UGA, has been conducting research on solid waste issues, marine debris and plastic pollution for two decades.

Jambeck’s research has resulted in international acclaim, and her work has received attention from Congressional leaders, the G7, the G20, and the United Nations Environment program. She has also conducted public environmental diplomacy as an international informational speaker for the U.S. Department of State since 2017.

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An early graduation present to the Class of 2024! The Franklin College is excited to welcome Allison back to campus.

Image: photo of Allison Schmitt via

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