Kishwaukee College held a virtual Commencement Ceremony honoring Spring 2021 graduates on May 22.
Approximately 330 students completed the requirements for degrees, certificates and credentials this spring. The members of the Class of 2021 participated in a virtual ceremony, which Kishwaukee College broadcast starting at 10 a.m. on its website and social media channels. Graduates were celebrated by several speakers during the ceremony, including Laurie Borowicz, president of Kishwaukee College; Bob Johnson, chair of the Board of Trustees; Sean Walters, faculty speaker; and Lauren Kawall, student speaker.
During her address, Kawall commended her fellow graduates for their perseverance during the difficulties of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am proud to say we are the first Kougars graduating class that had to deal with at least a full year of studies during a pandemic while working together to evolve positive social change,” Kawall said. “We have shown qualities that will serve us well in our next step, whether that’s in an exciting new career or pursuing further education. I now know that whatever challenges life throws our way, we will be able to handle them. We will be able to adapt. And we will be able to overcome.”
Johnson echoed Kawall’s remarks regarding the class’s determination and commitment in the face of unforeseen challenges. He said those qualities will serve the students well moving forward.
“Today, you join generations of graduates who have taken the skills and principles learned at this college and used them to create greater opportunities for themselves and those around them,” Johnson said. “Graduation is just the beginning. You have made us very proud today, and we know you will continue to do so in the future.”
Walters, adjunct instructor of biology, passed along wisdom to the graduates in the form of one simple message – help each other.
“Helping others will bring you strong relationships – open doors for your career and personal growth. It could even find you a partner for life,” Walters said. “Following this philosophy through your life might be the road less traveled, but it will not be an isolated and lonely one. In fact, it might even enable you to change the world.”
Borowicz closed the ceremony by reminding students to show thanks for their most committed supporters throughout their educational journey.
“Your graduation reflects their love and pride in you. They are your spouses and children, parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends. Your success is their success. Be sure to thank them,” she said.
Earlier in the week, Kishwaukee College held a drive-thru pinning ceremony for 26 Registered Nursing program graduates. The pinning ceremony was held outside the Kishwaukee College Conference Center where graduates were able to practice social distancing. Madeline James was named the Spring 2021 Outstanding Student for the program. Katie Barrett, Raven Brewer, Jessica Long, Miranda Nelson and Jessica Sky were inducted into the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society.
Kish’s Spring 2021 graduates were able to submit photos of themselves in cap and gown to be included in the commencement video. The video is available to view anytime on Kish’s website at www.kish.edu/commencement or via the college’s social media channels.
Madeline James, Kishwaukee College’s 2021 Outstanding Student for the Registered Nursing program, is pinned by her boyfriend and fellow nursing student Jonah Anderson. James and fellow nursing students took part in the pinning ceremony before Kish held a virtual commencement for Spring 2021 graduates on May 22.