For the greater part of this past year, our nation, state, and community have suffered much pain and loss as the virus has robbed us of loved ones, jobs, the economy, and especially social gatherings with friends and family.
In spite of the suffering of our many losses, there is a point of gratitude that I would like to share that can lift all our spirits as we struggle to move forward. Last Saturday, along with many others, I attended the Elgin Community College virtual graduation ceremony.
Under the leadership of our most revered president, Dr. David Sam, the ceremony offered numerous moments of celebration, pride, resilience, and achievement. The morning ceremony celebrated 565 transfer students who expressed great excitement at their opportunity to move on to four-year institutions and pursue their dreams. A long list of colleges and universities were announced as destinations in their next step to completing their bachelor’s degree. One day soon they may become your accountant, your child’s teacher, your professor, your political representative!
The second ceremony of the day was dedicated to 482 graduates completing certificates and two-year programs in preparation for entering the workforce. As Dr. Sam, announced – you have earned your degrees and certificates and are now ready for “Prime Time!” These grads will soon be serving the local community in numerous areas contributing to a slow-growing economy. You may soon encounter them in emergency services, hospitals, and foodservice. Many of you will not encounter them face-to-face as they will be working behind the scenes in HVAC, trucking and technology professions. These students have discovered the key to boosting their earning power and providing their families and themselves with a career in a much-needed service and a safe, secure future working at something they love.
It is also a tradition with Dr. Sam to close all graduation ceremonies with words found posted on the wall of Mother Teresa’s humble living quarters. The poem, “Do It Anyway,” reminds our graduates and all of us to be resilient, strong, and forceful in the face of adversity by using our skills and talents in the pursuit of greater goals and dreams.
This season presents us with an opportunity to give thanks for these newest graduates and celebrate along with them and their families for all that has been achieved. It also provides us with a sense of gratitude for these brilliant graduates.
Both ceremonies may be viewed on the college’s YouTube channel. The opening with the college’s string quartet will warm your hearts as well.
Congratulations Graduates! We are proud of all your accomplishments.
Donna Redmer, EdD
Chair, Elgin Community College Board of Trustees