Purdue University Northwest celebrates 833 graduates at Fall 2022 Commencement Ceremonies

Purdue University Northwest celebrates 833 graduates at Fall 2022 Commencement Ceremonies

On Saturday, Dec. 10, Purdue University Northwest (PNW) recognized the achievements of 833 new graduates at its fall commencement ceremonies before crowds of family, friends, and faculty.

Purdue University Northwest Fall Commencement 2022

Purdue University Northwest Fall Commencement 2022 379 Photos
Purdue University Northwest Fall Commencement 2022Purdue University Northwest Fall Commencement 2022Purdue University Northwest Fall Commencement 2022Purdue University Northwest Fall Commencement 2022

PNW celebrated graduates who earned 638 baccalaureate degrees, 193 master’s degrees, and two doctoral degrees. A multi-disciplined class, there were graduates representing five different academic colleges within PNW: Business, Engineering and Sciences, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Nursing, and Technology. High-achieving Honors College graduates who completed enriched academic and leadership opportunities and community service were distinguished by gold cords worn with their regalia.

“Today is a day of celebration and recognition, a day of applauding achievement and proud reflection,” said PNW Chancellor Thomas Keon. “Perhaps, even a day for shedding a tear or two of joy, and of course, it’s the day you’re receiving your cherished diploma. Candidates, I applaud you on your hard work, determination, and sacrifice.”

Keon noted that many in the crowd made just as many sacrifices as the students in their efforts to support their loved ones’ education.

“Parents, grandparents, other family members and friends, I also applaud your hard work, determination, and sacrifice,” he said. “Graduation is not a celebration exclusive to those receiving the diploma.”

PNW also took the opportunity to begin a new tradition. The university awarded first-generation college graduates with silver cords to be worn with their regalia during the ceremony.

“PNW is a First-gen Forward institution, supporting students who are the first in their families to attain degrees,” he said. “Over 50% of PNW students are first-generation, and I’m proud to be a first-generation student myself, as are many of our faculty and staff. Today, we acknowledge those students who have overcome additional barriers to accomplish their goals and celebrate their achievements.”

James E. Dedelow, co-owner of WJOB Radio in Hammond and the JEDtv streaming network, delivered the day’s keynote address. It also marked the first time that spouses have delivered keynote addresses at PNW, with his wife, Magistrate Alexis Vasquez-Dedelow (a fellow PNW alumna), having delivered the spring 2018 commencement address.

“Me standing here is around 150 years in the making to be honest with you,” he said. “In 1871 Chicago burned down and my family – my ancestors – had nowhere to go. They started walking and walked down what is now Indianapolis Boulevard and as soon as they got to Little Cal River they stopped and settled about a block from where we’re at right now. Every day when I talk on the TV and the radio, here on Indianapolis Boulevard, I think about that.”

Dedelow is also a member of the class of 2022 – making it the first time the PNW keynote speaker was also a member of the graduating class.

His address challenged students to stay steadfast in their principles — as he did when he left a lucrative career at the Chicago Board of Trade to purchase and run a local radio station – WJOB.

“The message to you folks is that your principle, your way, is going to tap you on your shoulder,” he said. “You might have to make incredible sacrifices. I was a big-time trader and all of a sudden I went 10 years without a paycheck just to be married to this principle: the ability to talk openly. So, if that little birdie ever taps you on your shoulder and says, ‘this is the way,’ please listen.”

David Bolton, president of PNW’s Student Government Association, capped the ceremony with parting words for his fellow students.

“Today marks a very special place in your journey through life,” Bolton said. “You’ve spent four or more years of education in a specific field, from nursing to accounting to human resources, and now you are equipped with the information you need to excel in your chosen discipline.”

He noted PNW’s class of 2022 triumphed over many obstacles – not all of them academic.

“Your resilience in learning and persevering through such a tough time, not only as students but as family and friends, truly exemplifies what it means to ‘Power Onward,’” he said. “No matter the obstacles, you made it.”

To learn more about Purdue University Northwest, visit pnw.edu.