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Monday, December 17, 2012

Ilea Johnson graduates from SPSU

Ilea Johnson graduated magna cum laude in Accounting from Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU), School of Engineering Technology and Management in Marietta, Ga. on Saturday, December 15. About 40 of Ilea's friends and family from metro Atlanta, Kentucky, Florida and Ohio attended the campus event and reception at her parent's home.

"As a mother, I am so proud of my daughter's accomplishments and happy that her graduation from college marks the completion of university degrees by all my three children," said Tomi Johnson. Johnson said that her talented and beautiful daughter has not landed a full time assignment yet, and asks interested employers to contact her via LinkedIn.

The 105th SPSU Commencement was held in the campus gymnasium. The address was given by Kessel Stelling, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Synovus Financial Corp. who is also regent of the University System of Georgia, District Six.

"Great leaders never stop learning," Stelling told the crowd. He encouraged students to face uncertainty AND opportunity by standing out. Stelling said that when his own banking industry was in free-fall and he and his associates were considered "the walking dead" by some, he survived by surrounding himself with smart people who asked hard questions. 

Wearing graduation medallion, Johnson poses with Ron Francis and DJPhantasy.

"Keep swinging," he told the graduates who now face a competitive job market. Like Babe Ruth, Stellings said, "It's hard to break a person who doesn't give up...sail away from the safe harbor. Dream. Discover."

University President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher said this year's 385 graduates represented the largest fall graduating class in the school's history and comprised students ranging from age 21 - 66 years old.

Twenty-two percent of the graduates were women, and 40% were from other countries.
While a full time student, Ilea held internships with the City of Atlanta - Watershed Management Department, and with Amendia, Inc., a spinal implant manufacturing firm.

Ilea's first job was a child model for Macy's Department Store represented by EMM. (Photo by Tomi Johnson)
Ilea is a former Elite Model Management (EMM) model, plays the violin, and speaks Spanish and Korean. She is a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society.

Ilea poses with extended family.
©2012 Photos by Kurk Johnson and Jose Alequin. Article by Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.


  1. Sharon wrote: "Yeah!!! The Daniels, Johnson, Jackson and Brown families celebrated the graduation of two beautiful young ladies. One in Atlanta, Georgia (Ilea Johnson) and one at Elizabeth City, N.C (De De (Deaudra) Brown) Both received top honors! We are so proud of them."

  2. George said: Tell Miss Ilea we are sooooo proud of her, and we know that soon she will be gainfully employed!

  3. Dr. Slade said: Congratulations to your daughter on her graduation! You must be inordinately proud of her. The pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with me. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

  4. Way to go Ilea,we're so proud of you! Donté Johnson & Family (Terea, Tierra & Darius)

  5. Cousin Debra said: We are so honored to have Ilea represent the Daniels family with her great accomplishments. We are sorry that we could not attend, but you were in our thoughts and prayers. Your mom, aunts, uncles, and grandparents are looking down on her with big smiles. A big hug and kiss go out to Ilea. Way to go girl!!!!

  6. Congrats, you are Blessed and Highly Favored!

    You too Mom & Dad.

    Thomas & Candace Carter

  7. Donte said: Simply put - Beautiful! Sorry we couldn't make it down South, but we're so proud of Ilea. I sent her a note in the mail from the Louisville Johnsons.

  8. Jose said: Congratulations to the proud parents ... and to the exceptional student as well. Let me know if I can help in any way. Blessings to you and yours during the holidays!

  9. Mary said: Beautiful Tomi. Sorry I wasn’t able to attend. PS: Wanda and Gary looking good.

  10. Tonya Morris DouglasDecember 17, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Soooo very proud of you!!!!

  11. Uncle Lionel and Aunt Will said: Congratulations, Ilea. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful young lady. We anticipate hearing very shortly about a fabulous job you have landed!

  12. Robert said: I believe she has had at least two very capable mentors in you and Kurk! Congratulations!


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