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North Central College’s 151st Commencement was a celebration of success, hard work, fulfilled goals, family pride and the promise of new dreams. On June 11, some 696 students were awarded bachelor’s degrees and 111 received master’s degrees to the cheers and applause of thousands of family, friends and faculty.
Before names were called and diplomas awarded, one of North Central’s own—1969 alumnus John W. Daniels Jr., J.D.—offered some counsel as Commencement speaker. “You’ve all learned a lot over the last few years and hopefully you’ll remember the most important stuff. But if there’s one thing I hope will stay with you for the rest of your life, it’s the simple and profound truth that everybody counts, every day. That’s something worth remembering.”
Both Daniels and Al B. Carius received a doctor of humane letters honorary degree—Daniels as Commencement speaker and honored alumnus and Carius for his 50 years of extraordinary success as head men’s cross country coach and associate head men’s track and field coach, teacher and mentor.
President Troy D. Hammond made three special presentations. Trustee and 1991 alumnus Scott Wehrli received the Gael D. Swing Award for his “generosity of spirit, energy and insightful leadership,” said Hammond. As secretary/treasurer and partner in Dukane Precast, “He played a key role, along with his father Dick, in the construction of this facility [Res/Rec Center], Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, the Fine Arts Center and New Hall, all significant projects.”
The Harold and Eva White First Citizen of the College Award was presented to John Madormo, assistant professor of broadcast communication and general manager of WONC-FM 89.1, for exemplifying the best of North Central College. “A great teacher, mentor and published author, he excels in every role and has built a distinctive program that is a source of pride for the College,” said Hammond.
Graduating senior Phillip Norris (left) received the Mark A. Reid Leadership Award for his commitment to principled leadership. “He experienced and succeeded in nearly every aspect of student life,” said Hammond. “His ‘anything is possible’ attitude will serve him well as an entrepreneur and business professional.”
Two retiring faculty were honored and received emeritus status: Sara Eaton, professor of English emerita, and Timothy Morris, professor of philosophy emeritus.
The 2016 Commencement program and list of graduates can be viewed here.