Here's to the Class of 2011!
The hallways were filled with chatter and emotion as excited, anxious people of varying ages each waited in great anticipation for the event to begin. After many hours of late-night studying, completing projects, preparing papers, and passing exams, the dream of graduation was finally becoming a reality.
Graduating students look for friends and family during Indiana Tech's 2011 Commencement ceremony.
Indiana Tech’s 90th Commencement took place on Saturday, May 14, at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 609 of the 839 students in the Class of 2011 participated in this celebratory ceremony. When the 10:30 a.m. start time arrived, the faculty lined both sides of the path that led into the main floor of the coliseum while many staff members gathered near the entrance. As the line of graduates began to parade by, the loud cheers and claps from faculty and staff rang through the halls. For many of the faculty and staff, this is the most rewarding day of the year as the students in whom they have invested much time, resources, and care reach a new milestone in their lives.
This year’s commencement keynote speaker was Dr. Lauren Dungy-Poythress, medical director of maternal-fetal medicine for Community Health Network of Indianapolis. Dr. Dungy-Poythress is known nationwide for her expertise as a perinatologist. She earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan’s medical school. She completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and subspecialty training in maternal-fetal medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Lauren Dungy-Poythress speaks at the 2011 Indiana Tech
Dr. Dungy-Poythress shared life-lessons to be learned from a variety of characters, including Simba from the movie The Lion King, the “defective detective” Adrian Monk from the television show Monk, and several personalities from the Bible. Her message encouraged the graduates to not be afraid to step out into the world and put to use their education, to use their God-given abilities, to seek out positive mentors, and to maintain a strong faith that allows each of them to stand firm on their beliefs. Upon completion of her address, Indiana Tech presented Dr. Dungy-Poythress with an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters.
Each year, this special day provides the platform for honoring the Faculty of the Year. For the academic year 2010–2011, the recipient was Susan McGrade, Associate Professor of English. Ms. McGrade is an excellent instructor who finds creative ways to connect with students in the classroom. She is involved in many ways beyond the classroom, too, and finds time to lecture on a wide array of topics.
As the ceremony moved into the introduction of the candidates for degrees, proud shouts of praise and applause echoed loudly from the crowd of family and friends seated throughout the coliseum. It truly was a joyous occasion as each individual strolled across the stage with smiles of relief and accomplishment.
While it is difficult to see many familiar faces move onto a new chapter, the farewells are filled with the expectation that these newly inducted alumni will write new stories of success as they work and serve in communities around the country and even around the world. So, let’s raise a toast to the Class of 2011 and say, “Welcome to the wonderful community of Warrior Alumni!”