Monday afternoon, almost 300 students of Purdue Northwest and their families gathered together to celebrate all of the dedication and hard work they have put into their studies over the past few years.
The 2017 PNW Spring Graduation ceremony was held at the Westville campus in the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Athletics Complex Monday afternoon. Students from every college of PNW, including the College of Business, College of Humanities, Education, and Social Services, College of Nursing, College of Technology, and College of Engineering and Sciences, made their way into the Dworkin Complex, ending one journey and beginning another.
The ceremony started when administrative members, donned in their graduation robes, made their way to the stage, followed by students about to receive their master’s and bachelor’s degrees and faculty members. After the National Anthem, Chancellor Thomas Keon took to the podium to welcome everyone and congratulate students who were taking an important step in their lives.
This year, the speaker chosen to address the students with an inspirational message was Thomas McDermott Jr, Mayor of the City of Hammond and fellow Purdue Northwest alumni. As he took to the stage, Mayor McDermott explained how his life changed for the better during his time at PNW.
“This university opened doors for me,” the 1996 alumnus said. “It equipped me with the education I would need to graduate from one of the toughest law schools in the country. It also gave me confidence to start my own business, then run for public office and win.”
Then, the awarding of the degrees began. Students whose hard work over their college career walked along the stage and collected their diploma in front of proud faculty and family. People in the audience cheered as their loved ones walked along the stage and started their new journey.
After a few closing remarks and congratulations from Chancellor Keon, the 2017 PNW Spring Commencement came to a close. As new graduates left the Dworkin complex, families and friends swarmed them with hugs and congratulations on completing a long and sometimes difficult journey.
“This is actually my second degree, and this time it was definitely a little more challenging this go around,” said Marianne Maddox, who graduated with a degree in Computer Networking and Information Technology. “But to be graduating with another degree in technology at my age is pretty fantastic.”
While Maddox celebrated her second degree in her field, another graduate celebrated two firsts.
“I graduated with a degree in social work,” said Stephanie Terravecchia of Michigan City. “It feels so great, mostly because I am the first member of my family to graduate from college. So this is a big day for me and my entire family.”
That sentiment was felt all around Purdue Northwest’s Westville campus Monday afternoon. People of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures celebrated an achievement that has been years in the making. And with the administration, faculty, family, friends, and fellow graduates cheering each other on, it made for a successful celebration.
For more information about Purdue Northwest, go to www.pnw.edu.