When I was asked to be the 2020 commencement faculty marshal for Waubonsee Community College, I was truly honored because commencement is my very favorite day of the school year. I envisioned myself leading Waubonsee faculty into the Field House followed by each of you as graduates walking in while your family and friends proudly watch. Then the crisis we never saw coming came. Coronavirus changed all of our lives and plans.
This pandemic truly tested Waubonsee’s values of quality, value, innovation, service, and accessibility. And, I saw numerous examples of true innovation, service, and accessibility to adjust the way faculty delivered instruction and administrators and support staff worked to do our very best to help you reach the completion of your degree. We shifted from seeing you every day in the classroom and on campus to remote teaching and supporting you in our new virtual world. For us, that adjustment has been painful because we value our in-person interaction with you and have missed all of you tremendously.
Each of you came to Waubonsee for different reasons, each specific to your own goals for your future. Some of you have earned your degree in as little as one year while others have earned their degree over several years. Many of you have earned your degree while working and others have earned their degree while raising children. Each of you has walked your own path. I know your degree will broaden your career opportunities, move you forward in your professional lives, and bring you and your families a greater quality of life. As a counselor, I have been so impressed with all of your persistence, resilience, tenacity, and creativity in staying the course to finish out the semester strong and earn your degree at Waubonsee.
Even though we can’t be together for a traditional commencement celebration, know that we are so proud of you. Please take this time to reflect on your growth while at Waubonsee. We have been honored to be a part of your journey. Though we could not be together for your important recognition of earning your degree, please reach back to us and let us know your next steps in your journey so we can celebrate with you. Congratulations!