//VSU announces President’s Award for Academic Excellence recipient

VSU announces President’s Award for Academic Excellence recipient

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VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University recently announced the recipient of the Spring 2024 President’s Award for Academic Excellence.


Grayson Friedman of Evans, Georgia, is the recipient of the Spring 2024 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to a high-performing graduating student 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 Science and Mathematics, and College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Friedman will be recognized during VSU’s 237th Commencement at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, on the Main Campus Front Lawn. They will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in American Sign Language, Deaf Studies, and Art.

“I am so honored to be recognized for my academic success at a university level,” Friedman shared. “Looking back, I was nervous to fail, and with the challenges I faced, it didn’t seem improbable, as author Lemony Snicket would say, ‘Life is a conundrum of esoterica.’ However, I worked hard to make sure that didn’t happen; seeing that effort turn into an achievement like this feels unreal. I know I would not be here without the support of my family, friends, and professors, and for them, I am inordinately grateful.” 

As a student at VSU, Friedman served as social media editor for The Spectator, the university’s award-winning independent student news organization; a resident assistant for Housing and Residence Life; and a member of the American Sign Language Club.

Friedman presented original research titled “The Cultural Importance of De’VIA Art” at the 2024 Undergraduate Research Symposium; celebrated that research being accepted for publication in Volume 14 of Omnino, a peer-reviewed, scholarly research journal for undergraduate students at VSU; and showcased a metals piece during a special exhibit for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation team. 

Friedman hopes to pursue a graduate level education in either deaf education or museum/curatorial studies in the future.

“My career goals are to be an art teacher at a school for the deaf or work in an art center, gallery, or museum as a curator or art educator.” On the Web: