The University of West Georgia's summer commencement ceremony will be held on Tuesday, July 25 at 10 a.m. in the UWG Coliseum. Alumna Aimee Copeland, motivational speaker and disabilities advocate, will deliver the keynote address.
Copeland was a graduate student at UWG in 2012 when she contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a type of flesh-eating bacteria, after cutting her leg in a fall from a homemade zip line into the Little Tallapoosa River. As a result of the infection, her major organs began to shut down, and she was not expected to survive.
Copeland ultimately had to have four amputations—her hands, her right foot and her left leg—in order to save her life. Through determination and faith, she overcame her challenges and graduated from UWG with a master’s degree in psychology. She also earned an additional master’s in social work online through Valdosta State University last May.
In addition to sharing her story of survival and perseverance as an inspirational speaker, Copeland is a licensed social worker and works as a psychotherapist at the Heartwork Counseling Center in Atlanta.