TIFTON — The 14th annual Freshman Convocation at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College wiil be held Aug. 14. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. and serves as the opening of the academic year as students begin their journey towards a college diploma.
Dr. Jerry Baker, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the convocation is a formal induction ceremony of the freshman class each fall semester into the academic community of ABAC. Fall semester classes begin on Aug. 15.
Ben Kennedy, recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Young Alumnus award from the ABAC Alumni Association, is this year’s convocation speaker.
Kennedy owns Brighton Builders, a custom home building business in Bluffton, S.C. He also owns two other companies, Driftwood Homes USA, LLC, and Brighton Development, LLC. Kennedy is a former member of the board of directors of the Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association. He is also a partner with New South Living, LLC, an investment and land development company.
Kennedy has devoted his career to building state-of-the-art homes. He received the Home Builders Association of South Carolina Pinnacle Award for a remodeling project of $500,000 or more, the Pinnacle Award for Best Website Design, and the Pinnacle Award for New Construction Home $750,000-$999,000. Kennedy also received the Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association Hammer Award, a recognition which goes to only one person a year for achievements in the Association and the community.
Kennedy built and donated a $55,000 Tiny Home after the South Carolina flood of 2015. He was honored by the mayor of Bluffton for the 2015 State of Mind Award. Kennedy was also the project manager for an Extreme Makeover Home for the ABC television show. He and his team built a 4,000 square foot home in 106 hours with more than 3,500 volunteers.
While a student at ABAC, Kennedy was a member of the ABAC Ambassadors and president of his sophomore class. He graduated from ABAC in 2002.
Kennedy and his wife, Brittany, have two children and reside in Bluffton.