College graduation marks an important milestone in the lives of graduates nationwide every year but for those at North Central College, this year’s commencement was extra special, as students and staff celebrate the college’s 150th anniversary.
“You, the class of 2011, are what they dreamed of a century and a half ago, the promise in which they invested their lives and treasure and above all, their faith,” said President of North Central College Hal Wilde during the commencement ceremony. Carolyn Kalafut, CCIW Conference champion pole vaulter, represented the class of 2011, giving a few brief words of reflection on the North Central College family.
“Our professors have become our mentors beyond the classroom. Our coaches have become our confidants and our biggest fans,” said Kalafut. “Our classmates have become our motivation to push ourselves academically, and our friends have become our support system and will remain permanent fixtures in our lives long after we have graduated.”
Author and editor of Poetry Magazine Christian Wiman then gave the commencement address.
”You probably won’t forget this moment of your graduation but you will forget the specific textures of it,” said Wiman.
This year’s graduation had to take place inside due to renovations taking place at the campus’s football field. But that didn’t make the ceremony any less special for the 652 graduates who walked across the stage inside the campus’s Residential Recreation Center to get their diplomas. Of them, 529 students received Bachelor’s degrees, while 123 received advanced degrees.
After the ceremony, grads gathered outside to reflect on their greatest memories at NCC and what they’ll miss most. “My greatest memory would have to be going to the football games,” said graduate Alexandra Wilson, who used to be a cheerleader at the games. “I’ll miss all my friends, all my professors,” said Nora Wessels. “Here at NCC I think we have a really good environment and it’s almost like a second family.”
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