Graduation is also a time to celebrate faculty influence
By THOMAS L. KEON
We are within days of another Purdue Calumet graduation; our 67th Commencement Exercises are Saturday, May 10.
While all graduations are special, they are especially so because they represent the ultimate success achieved by our students.
Throughout our campus history, a degree—a Purdue degree—has opened doors of personal and professional opportunity and enrichment. It has helped put food on dinner tables, it has improved quality of life, it has connected dreams with reality, and it has helped build the nest eggs that support our families’ next generation of higher educated individuals.
During our afternoon Commencement May 10 at the Hammond Civic Center, we will award the 50,000th degree since our first Purdue Calumet Commencement in 1967. Among those participating in that celebratory milestone will be John Brown—as in Dr. John S. Brown, M.D.
Dr. Brown was the first of 39 individuals to receive a bachelor’s degree during our first baccalaureate Commencement. That graduation was held two years after the Board of Trustees granted Purdue Calumet authority to offer baccalaureate degree programs.
More baccalaureate degree graduates
Interestingly, 47 years later, Purdue Calumet operates within an environment in which a high premium has been placed on graduating more individuals with baccalaureate degrees—and in a timely manner.
Through the years, when reflecting on their Purdue Calumet experience, our graduates have told us about wonderful learning experiences, opportunistic support services and flexible class scheduling that enabled them to manage work and family obligations while pursuing their degrees.
Faculty committed to our students
Yet, arguably, the most frequently cited and compelling attribute of how Purdue Calumet has contributed to the success of our graduates is the commitment of our faculty. Their teaching, their concern, their advice, their insight and, yes, even their tough love have been articulated time and time again as reasons why so many of our students were able to become alumni.
Dr. Brown relates similar experiences about the impact of Purdue Calumet faculty on his life in the mid-1960s.
As another class of students approaches graduation, I offer congratulations to them, and I also offer heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our faculty who contribute to our students’ success in so many ways.
Thomas L. Keon