Schererville Grad Receives 50,000th Purdue Calumet Degree

Chancellor Keon with Raymond S. Smith and Dean William R. Law

HAMMOND, Ind. – Purdue University Calumet celebrated its 67th Commencement Exercises Saturday (5/10) with two graduation programs and the awarding of its 50,000th degree to Schererville resident Raymond S. Smith.

Smith, a 23-year-old computer science scholar, received the historic degree during the day’s second graduation at the Hammond Civic Center. Among those joining Smith in celebrating the Purdue Calumet milestone were Chancellor Thomas Keon, Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Purdue Calumet’s first baccalaureate degree graduate in 1967, Dr. John S. Brown III of Valparaiso. Dr. Brown, a physician and CEO of Four Seasons Medical Center in Merrillville and Lakes of the Four Seasons, also offered remarks.

Purdue Calumet alumni Dave Roberts (Class of 1974), chairman, president and CEO of Carlisle Companies Inc., and Craig Pratt (Class of 1985), recently retired senior vice president of Fifth Third Bank, Northern Indiana, delivered keynote addresses.

Roberts urged the morning graduates—from the Colleges of Business; Nursing; and Technology—to

take advantage of the opportunity their degree affords.

“So how are you going to insure that you capitalize on that opportunity?” he asked. “All of you have completed one hurdle on the way to a successful career. You earned your degree, but your journey has just begun, and you will need four other characteristics: DESIRE, MOTIVATION, THE WILLINGNESS TO TAKE A CHANCE and HUMILITY.”

To afternoon graduates of the Colleges of Education; Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Pratt presented his “Top 10 things I have learned in life that I wish I could have told myself 30 years ago.” Comprising his list are Integrity, Confidence, Work Hard/Work Smart, Put People First, Be Yourself, Get a Mentor, Be an Optimist, Think Long Term, Keep Learning and, at number one, Give Back.

Roberts and Pratt addressed 643 graduates, their family members, friends, and university faculty and staff during the two Commencements. Overall, the spring graduating class consists of 1,047 recipients of 224 master’s degrees, 792 baccalaureate degrees and 31 associate degrees.

After introducing baccalaureate degree programs in 1965, Purdue Calumet held its first Commencement of baccalaureate degree graduates in 1967.

Also Saturday, Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon presented Chancellor’s Medallions to graduating seniors with the top grade point average in each of Purdue Calumet’s six academic colleges. Other distinguished baccalaureate degree candidates, as well as those graduating from the Honors Program were recognized as well.