The new Purdue Northwest celebrated it’s very first class of alumni this evening. 990 students will graduate from the Westville and Hammond campuses. Graduates included 82 master’s recipients, 864 baccalaureate degrees, and 14 associates degrees.
As students lined up, many were excited to finally reach the finish line.
“Graduation means a lot to me because my brother and I are the first ones who went to college and graduated, and I’m the first one walking. My whole family is going to be here, and I’m really excited.” said graduate Stephanie Vansikle at the event.
“This is one of the proudest days in the lives of the graduates and their families,” said Purdue Calumet Chancellor, Thomas L. Keon. “For today’s commencement, some have traveled across town while others have traveled across the world as well as locations in between. Today is a day for celebration and recognition. It’s a day of applauds and achievement. Of course, this is a day for receiving a cherished diploma. I applaud these candidates for their hard work, determination, and sacrifice.”
Purdue graduate and a former two-term member of Indiana House of Representatives, Christina Hale, delivered the Keynote address to the students.
“I suspect you are smart, you are engaged in life for the right reasons and you have a good heart,” she said. “So when opportunity knocks, ask yourself, ‘why not you? Why not?’ and be prepared to say, “yes!”
Hale is a graduate of the PNW Westville Campus and used her experiences to reach out to the students. “I was one of you,” she said, as she discussed the “hustle” graduates likely learned during their time at Purdue Northwest.
One of those students, Justin Mann, a student of nursing said, “It means a lot of sleepless nights and you’re finally seeing the fruition of that hard work. Purdue has absolutely prepared me for nursing through the curriculum, simulations, and my clinical experiences.”
After the ceremony, students and their families were able to experience their first event as alumni of the University with a congratulatory reception for alumni.