Indiana University Northwest’s 48th Annual Commencement

Although it was a cold, rainy, windy day in Gary, Indiana, the IU Northwest campus was full of happiness and excitement. Indiana University Northwest hosted its 48th Annual Commencement on Thursday, May 15th, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Genesis Center, located at 5th Avenue and Broadway in Gary.

Chancellor William J. Lowe welcomed the audience by introducing the Indiana University Northwest Class of 2014. He opened the commencement by mentioning how unique this graduating class was. One thing that sets this graduating class apart from other classes is the diversity. Students from all walks of life came together to celebrate this monumental day.

Lowe stated, “To best appreciate, the accomplishments of the Class of 2014, we must fully understand the many dimensions of diversity that characterize this graduating class: more than two-thirds are women; 40 percent are students of color; close to half are first generation college graduates; the great majority are aged 30 or older; and, nearly 90 percent worked while earning their degrees. The IU Northwest Class of 2014 is distinctive, even among IU regional campuses, and reflects the region that we serve.”

There’s no denying the diversity this graduating class offered. The graduates’ interests range from criminal justice to biology. Throughout his remarks, Lowe named off dedicated and hardworking students who had made the best of their college experience. Students like DeJuan DeVoe, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He has had first-hand experience with the benefits IU Northwest has to offer. He credits IU Northwest’s small class sizes and attentive professors for that.

“My knowledge of economics and what goes on with the Federal Reserve has gone up exponentially,” he said. “I don’t think that would have happened at a larger university. The care level wouldn’t be as high as it is here.”

On the other hand, we have student Candyce Mehler who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with minors in biology and chemistry. She is active on campus and in the community, raising funds for local charitable organizations that support breast cancer research, autism awareness and veteran services. She also volunteers her time as a Spanish tutor for students at local elementary and high schools. Mehler is a prime example of a student who has taken full advantage of the educational opportunities IU Northwest has to offer.

After the uplifting and inspirational words from Lowe, it was time for IU Northwest President Michael A. McRobbie to take the stage. He shed light upon the underrated reputation of state schools and the endless opportunities they have to offer.

“Public universities like Indiana University educate about 80 percent of all college students and 65 percent of all four-year college students in the United States,” he said. “Hence, the nation’s public universities have played a fundamental role in the democratization of education, and in doing so, they have helped to prepare millions of graduates for the integral roles they play as active and engaged citizens in democratic society.”

IU Northwest recognized those in active duty, National Guard, as well as reserves and veterans of the United States Armed Services. Service personnel, who represent the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, were entitled to wear a twisted cord of red, white and blue. ROTC graduates who will commission on or immediately after graduation were also eligible.

Congratulations and good luck, graduates! Always remember, in the words of President McRobbie, “In the face of vast and sobering challenges, you have the power to shape your world and to fulfill the best qualities of your own spirits.”