Accomplished, diverse and talented Class of 2019 takes next step towards brilliant future
North Central College celebrated its 154th Commencement exercises on June 8 at a time of transition and opportunity both for the College and its graduates.
A combined class of 790—701 undergraduate students and 89 graduate students—received their degrees before a packed crowd of families, friends, faculty and other supporters. Among the undergraduates, 207 graduated cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude, 31 finished the College Scholars Honors Program, and more than 200 are first-generation college students, representing 40 percent of the class.
This is the last class to graduate before the College moves to a semester-based schedule and a new general education curriculum next year.
Commencement speakers inspire and challenge
Veteran reporter, anchor and producer Jim Williams of CBS 2 Chicago gave an impassioned commencement address. Williams stressed the importance of reaching out in person, getting out from behind modern technology to interact with others and find who they are.
He said, "If you want to be your best ... you have to be empathetic, you have to know people. Their triumphs ... their challenges ... their pain. The nuanced, 360-degree view that is not captured in a tweet or a text or an Instagram photo."
Williams received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the College.
His presenter, Associate Professor of Political Science Suzanne Chod, said of Williams: "With a career spanning radio, television and Mayor (Richard M.) Daley’s press office, and through your service to organizations like The Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, you’ve channeled your compassion and wide-ranging talents into making a positive difference in the lives of all people from all backgrounds. (You are) a wonderful example for our graduates."