Indiana University Northwest celebrates the Classes of 2020 and 2021 with outdoor Commencement

Indiana University Northwest celebrates the Classes of 2020 and 2021 with outdoor Commencement

Ceremony culminates an extraordinary journey for graduates

 Indiana University Northwest celebrated the academic achievements—as well as the commitment and perseverance—of two classes of graduates during Commencement on Thursday, May 13.

While last year’s Commencement was virtual, this year’s ceremony was in-person and open only to graduates. However, family and friends were able to share in the joy of the day by viewing Commencement via livestream.

A unique time

As noted by Chancellor Ken Iwama, the graduates are forever bound by the collective and life-changing experience of COVID-19. “The very fact that you are here today, through it all, makes you unique to our time, and equally vital for our future. After confronting a global pandemic, there is no class better prepared to take on the other great challenges of our time,” he said.

Student speaker Bridgette Kelly, a logistics officer in the Indiana National Guard, who graduated with a Master of Science in Education, spoke about how attending school during COVID-19, and juggling her family responsibilities, presented her with her own unique challenges. “Our experiences as students during the pandemic are truly lessons learned and testaments of our power,” she said. “The inspirational experiences at IU Northwest that supported me in understanding and living my purpose … helped shape the person that stands before you, today.”

By the numbers

Collectively, there are 1,427 graduates in the Classes of 2020 and 2021: 732 and 695 respectively. Following is a snapshot of the 2021 graduating class:

  • 36 associate degrees, 561 bachelor’s degrees, and 98 master’s degrees were granted.
  • The oldest student graduating is 68 years old and the youngest is 20.
  • 75 percent of graduates identify as female.
  • The most popular degree type is a bachelor of arts, followed by a bachelor of nursing.
  • Nearly 40 percent of the Class of 2021 are first-generation college students.
  • More than 50 percent are over the age of 25.