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800 graduate from IUN

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



GARY — A boisterous crowd packed the Genesis Convention Center on Thursday afternoon to send off more than 800 Indiana University Northwest graduates.

IUN’s 45th commencement marked a milestone for the campus and its chancellor. As of this year, IUN has conferred more than 24,000 degrees. IUN Chancellor William J. Lowe presided over his first IUN commencement.

Jeremiah J. Cox, who graduated with a chemistry degree, recalled his struggle to arrive at his very first IUN class on time in his speech before the graduates. Driving around for a parking spot and misreading the classroom number caused him to be 20 minutes late.

“Nothing is ever free of chance throwing a wrench in the works,” Cox said. “It’s how we respond to these uncomfortable siutations that matters. It is through these challenges and successes that we have become the Class of 2011.”

IU President Michael McRobbie spoke of the importance of state and federal governments to continue to invest dollars in higher education. Over the next two years IU will see an $9.1 million cut in state aid.

McRobbie said research at public universities has led to thousands of innovations, such as the development of flouride, lasers, magnetic resonance imaging and the Internet.

“Many other countries are rushing to imitate us,” McRobbie said. “The future depends on our willingness to invest in state universities.”

The ceremony was a celebration for the graduates as much as it was for friends and family members. During the ceremony, camera flashes went off frequently and cheers for the graduates were ubiquitous.

Family and friends waited in the lobby of the convention center to bestow hugs, bouquets of flowers and mylar balloons.

Dyer resident Frank Katsenis said he’s the first member of his family to graduate from college — with a bachelor’s degree in biology — so it’s a pretty big deal for his family.

“I’m very happy that I made it,” Katsenis said. “I didn’t always believe in myself. I feel indebted to my family for their support.”

Crown Point resident Tanya Muvceski did double duty at IUN, receiving bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. And the work isn’t over — she plans on pursing a master’s degree at Purdue University Calument this summer, while working.

But she enjoyed the ceremony and the chance to celebrate.

“I was glad that I got to share this with my friends,” Muvceski said.

Uttmore Brevard of Gary, who received an associate’s degree in general studies, plans on attending next year’s commencement.

“I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree,” Brevard said. “And my mother will be there then.”



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