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Encouragement: ‘If we can do it, they can, too’

Kish graduates, alumni offer advice at commencement

MALTA – Family and friends flocked to Kishwaukee College’s 2018 fall commencement ceremony Saturday to watch as 267 students were awarded associate degrees and certificates of completion.

The college, at 21193 Malta Road, celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Since it was founded in 1968, it has seen more than 24,000 students graduate.

The commencement began with the singing of the National Anthem by Kishwaukee College student Nailah Mobley.

President Laurie Borowicz, Robert Johnson, Everett Westmeyer, and Madison Hunt all offered advice to the graduating students.

Borowicz is serving her third year as Kishwaukee College president. The idea of holding a fall commencement came to Borowicz during her first semester as president.

The college’s first fall commencement was held in 2016.

“Today is all about getting your degree and starting your future,” Borowicz said. “You are not the same person you were when you first came to this college. My father once said that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. College opens our minds to countless possibilities. Reach far and reach high. Don’t be afraid to take risks. The only risks we regret are the ones we didn’t take.”

Johnson is the chairman of the college’s board of trustees. He has served as a trustee for 14 years.

“Commencement is always the highlight of my year,” Johnson said. “I’m a farmer, and graduation is like harvest time. I look forward to watching students cross the stage to get their diplomas. Graduation is just the beginning. The future is filled with promise.”

Westmeyer is assistant professor of accounting at Kishwaukee College. He told graduating students that they should set goals, choose the hard choice over the easy choice, and become lifelong learners.

“There is a correlation between how well you work and how well you do,” Westmeyer said. “Ask yourself why you are doing what you’re doing. Is it for a paycheck, or is it for your passion? A paycheck will get you through the week. A passion for doing your job will last you a lifetime.”

Hunt is a student who received her associate degree in science and plans on continuing her education at a four-year college.

She quoted author Stephen King, who said: “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

“Today starts us showing those around us that if we can do it, they can, too,” Hunt said.

There were 68 students who received an Associate in Arts degree, 67 students who received an Associate in Science degree, three students who received an Associate in Engineering Science degree, and 40 students who received an Associate in Applied Science degree.

Certificates of completion were awarded to students in the fields of criminal justice, diesel power technology, electronics, emergency medical services, horticulture, nursing, office systems and welding technology.

There were also certificates awarded for short term training as a dental assistant, phlebotomy technician, sterile processing technician and veterinarian assistant.

Five graduates were awarded their Illinois high school equivalency credential.

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