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Purdue Cal confers degree on 50,000th graduate

Hassad Jabir Al Abad's friends holler with joy as he wlks across dais Saturday. Al Abad Hammond earned his bachelor

Hassad Jabir Al Abad's friends holler with joy as he wlks across the dais Saturday. Al Abad, of Hammond, earned his bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering during Purdue University Calumet's 67th Commncement Saturday afteroon at the Hammond Civic Center. | Michelle L. Quinn~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 12, 2014 6:22AM



HAMMOND — Several firsts were celebrated during Purdue University Calumet’s 67th commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon.

Held at the Hammond Civic Center, graduation was divided into two ceremonies to accommodate the 1,047 matriculating students. The campus’ first-ever bachelor’s degree recipient, John Brown III, was asked to deliver words of wisdom to the 643 graduates attending the afternoon event.

Brown, a physician who lives in Valparaiso, earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Purdue Cal and a master’s degree in physics from Purdue’s main campus before being accepted into Purdue’s first medical school program. Had he not been accepted to medical school, his daughter, Susan Brown, said he was planning to pursue a degree in nuclear pharmacy.

Brown said his education at Purdue Cal could stand up to any other.

“It holds up well, and there are better teachers here because they explained things clearly,” Brown said. “And the ability to earn a degree and have family close by was wonderful.”

The school also conferred honors on its 50,000th graduate, Ray Smith, a 23-year-old computer science major.

Craig Pratt, who earned his bachelor of science degree in 1985 and is now Fifth Third Bank’s Northwest Indiana senior executive, imparted 10 rules of the road, so to speak.

“If you mess up, ’fess up. People won’t keep people they can’t trust,” Pratt said.



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