On May 20th, 2017, Gio Managadze published an article on LinkedIn claiming that he was dropping out of the University of Maryland two weeks before graduation. On top of that, he claimed that he was the Valedictorian that would be giving the main commencement speech at graduation.
I'm a University of Maryland graduate and I don't remember there being a valedictorian, so I had to do a little research. There's something similar, known as a "University Medalist." That honor is going to a young man named Gregory Ridgway, a physics, mathematics, and piano performance major (he's also a Springbrook High School alum).
I don't know if Giorgi Managadze, the young man that wrote this, was ever supposed to be the medalist...but his letter did elicit a huge response all over the Internet yesterday and into this morning.
Here are some facts surrounding this situation:
- UMD does not have a valedictorian.
- UMD does have a university medalist.
- The author of this article/letter is NOT the university medalist (I don't know if he was ever a candidate).
- This is also posted on the authors personal Facebook account with what seems to be family and friends commenting on the status.
- The author claims to have his bachelors degree from UMD on his LinkedIn account.
- The author claims a 3.94 GPA on his LinkedIn account (a 3.96 or above is required to be a university medalist at UMD).
Whether true or not, Georgi Managadze has definitely created a stir for his upcoming startup company (he has yet to reveal what it is).
UPDATE: On his Facebook page, he says he chose the title of his letter (referring to himself as valedictorian) to help it go viral as a marketing campaign for his startup.