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Sen. Burke named Thomas University’s 2015 Commencement speaker

Rachel Wiggins, Student writer

Thomas University will hold its 2015 Commencement ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 9, at the Ben Grace Historic Quadrangle on TU’s Main Campus. A total of 269 students are set to receive associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Georgia State Sen. Dean Burke will be the speaker.

Burke is the Republican representative for Senate District 11, which consists of Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller and Seminole counties along with portions of Mitchell and Thomas counties.

Burke, who serves as the Chairman of the Ethics Committee, is also a member of the Health and Human Services and Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committees. In addition, he serves on the Appropriations Committee as the Community Health Sub-Committee Chair, responsible for 14.1 percent of the state’s total budget. 

Before his time as a representative, Burke contributed to his community by serving seven years on the Bainbridge City Council and the Lower Flint Water Council.  He is a member of the Rotary Club and the Hospital Authority of the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County. 

Burke, who serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Bainbridge Memorial Hospital and Manor, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia Southwestern University and went on to graduate from the Medical College of Georgia.  He specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercer University School of Medicine and has been a practicing physician for 27 years.

Burke has been married for 33 years to his wife, Thea. They have two children. His family belongs to First United Methodist Church in Bainbridge.

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