City of Hammond Mayor and Purdue University Northwest alumnus Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. told PNW graduates at Westville Monday afternoon (5/8), “I would not be where I am were it not for PNW; this university changed my life.”
In his fourth term as Hammond’s longest serving mayor, McDermott talked about the opportunities his alma mater provided him as a father and husband following a six-year naval career and how the education he gained prepared him for a career in law and politics.
“(This) university opened doors for me,” the 1996 alumnus said. “It equipped me with the education I would need to graduate from one of the toughest law schools in the country. It also gave me confidence to start my own business, then run for public office and win.”
Representing PNW’s first spring graduation class are 1,203 individuals, of whom 275 participated Monday. Three other ceremonies took place Friday (5/5) and Saturday (5/6) at Hammond. Comprising the class are 176 individuals receiving master’s degrees, 1,021 gaining baccalaureate degrees and six others claiming associate degrees.
Some 819 degree honorees participated in the four PNW ceremonies.
The graduations also included presentations of a Chancellor Medallion to the graduating senior in each of the university’s five academic colleges with the highest grade point average.
Medallion recipients are: Melinda Fuller of Crown Point (Humanities, Education and Social Sciences); Natalie Newbold of Valparaiso (Business); Noah Feldman of Schererville (Engineering and Sciences; Jeremy Michaelis of Valparaiso and Gabriella Gonzalez of Lake Station (Nursing); and Jeffrey Bonesteel of Chicago (Technology).
Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two Northwest Indiana campuses in Hammond and Westville. The university was established by the unification in early 2016 of the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. With more than 15,000 students and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit website www.pnw.edu.