Naturalist, photographer and writer (and native of nearby Joliet, Illinois) Edwin Way Teale wrote “The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.” While Teale wrote this in a book about nature, it is certainly true of students as they finish the academic year in May.
A remarkably diverse group of more than 1,000 people will earn college degrees from Waubonsee this year. The majority of the graduating class has been enrolled in school part-time because they have the full-time responsibilities of jobs and families. Some of the graduates are still in their teen years while others are in their seventies. Within the group are close to 300 members of academic honor societies. Nearly 300 of these graduates earned the distinction of Presidential and Academic Honors and the average grade point average for all graduates is 3.17.
This year’s commencement speaker at Waubonsee’s commencement ceremonies is Dr. Jorge Partida, a 1985 Waubonsee graduate and now Chief of Psychology for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Having immigrated from Mexico to Aurora at the age of nine and earning associate, bachelor’s and doctorate degrees, Dr. Partida is a perfect example of what community colleges provide for people. His remarks at our two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are sure to inspire this year’s graduates.
With this class, Waubonsee has now awarded more than 25,000 degrees since 1968. This year’s graduates join a very long line of people who have enhanced their lives through education. Whereas Teale wrote that all things seem possible in May, I offer that all things seem possible for Waubonsee Community College graduates. I wish everyone graduating this year ongoing success as they continue in their current careers, start new careers or transfer to four-year colleges. Be proud of your accomplishments and share them with the world.