278 collect degrees in Calumet College commencement
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent May 18, 2013 8:00PM
Graduate Charles Smoot III of Webster,TX(Center) and Professor Alexandre Da Silva of Crown Point embrace in celebration during the Calumet College of St. Joseph Commencement Ceremony in Whiting on Saturday. | Jeff Addison ~ Sun -Times Media
Updated: June 20, 2013 4:22PM
HAMMOND — The long popularity of the board game Life may be directly connected to its relatability to its players, Calumet College of St. Joseph’s valedictorian Megan Manley posited during the school’s 51st annual commencement Saturday afternoon.
The game has seen changes since it came out 50 years ago, the paralegal studies/business management major said; a doctor’s salary in 1977, for example, was a mere $25,000. But the premise remains the same: Either players can choose to have a career or they can go to college.
Those who chose careers, Manley said, didn’t have crushing debt right away, but their salaries and careers were determined randomly. Those who chose college, however, saw much more positive outcomes.
“What is the significance of being a college graduate? Those who chose college didn’t face limitations,” Manley, of Lowell, told the crowd.
Mary Robinson of Chicago had been teaching her grandson, Jordan Johnson, also of Chicago, that for years. Johnson, a Chicago police officer, received his master’s degree in public safety administration.
“I’m a retired principal, so I went to him and told him he needed to continue his education,” said Robinson, flanked by son and Jordan Johnson’s father, Jeffrey Johnson; and Kimberly Johnson, Jordan Johnson’s wife. “He’s the oldest of the grandchildren, so it’s up to him to set the example.”
With his degree, Jordan Johnson’s limitations become much more, well, limited.
“If I want to work outside the department, I can head a security firm or head up security for a corporation,” he said. “In the department, it’ll help me think outside the box when it comes to promotion exams.”
Caitlyn Black, of Hegewisch, Ill., received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She’ll miss the friends she made and the sports she played for the school.
“I feel good, excited, happy to be done,” Black said. “I’ve already started applying for jobs.”
The Class of 2013 counted among its numbers a distinguished member in the Most Rev. Bishop Dale Melczek, who received an honorary degree. Melczek lauded the work of Calumet College in promoting a sense of community rather than individuation.
“A professor said to me, ‘I worry not that they’re learning for themselves. I worry that they’re learning for the sake of their vulnerable clients,” he said. “Life is bigger, and more than, the individual.”
The school conferred honors upon 278 students — 60 master’s degrees, 198 baccalureate degrees and 20 associate degrees.