376 graduate from Calumet College of St. Joseph
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent May 17, 2014 7:28PM
Hundreds of students wait to receive their diplomas Saturday at commencement exercises at Calumet College of St. Joseph at the Hammond college. | Michelle L. Quinn~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 23, 2014 12:58PM
WHITING — Calumet College of St. Joseph’s 2014 Valedictorian Rebecca Dill had a lot of people to thank for her success Saturday afternoon during the school’s commencement ceremony.
Dill, the first athlete to achieve valedictory status for the school since the 2000 inception of its athletic program, was driven to tears when thinking about her mother, who had passed away. Dill was sure her mother was looking down from above in support.
“She inspired me to be the woman I am today,” Dill said.
Dill also thanked her boyfriend, Tommy, for guiding her to be the best she could be; her aunt, grandmother, sister and brother for their words of support for when she needed it most; and, naturally, her father.
“I need to thank my dad for being the best support system and guiding me through these terrifying but exciting years,” she said.
Dill, graduating summa cum laude, received her bachelor of science degree in general science with a concentration in exercise sports science. She was named the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete for Women’s Basketball. She attended Cal College at the persuasion of the women’s basketball coaches, who promised her she would have a “positive learning environment” in the school, she said.
Three hundred seventy-six students earned their Calumet College degrees, including 83 master’s degrees, 286 bachelor’s degrees and seven associate degrees. The campus represents one of the nation’s most diverse, with the Class of 2014 composed of 30.6 percent African-American students, 25.6 percent Hispanic students and 42 percent Caucasian students.