A Future of Opportunities for Calumet College of St. Joseph Graduates

A Future of Opportunities for Calumet College of St. Joseph Graduates

Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ) bestowed degrees upon 160 students on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at the Dennis and Leslie Rittenmeyer Athletic Center in Hammond. It included 45 from the master’s degree programs, 113 from the baccalaureate degree programs, and 2 from the associate degree programs. Three sets of family members received their degrees together, and the graduating class included students from Bolivia, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Nigeria, and Viet Nam.

President Amy McCormack opened the ceremony.

Calumet College of St. Joseph Commencement 2023

Calumet College of St. Joseph Commencement 2023 313 Photos
Calumet College of St. Joseph Commencement 2023Calumet College of St. Joseph Commencement 2023Calumet College of St. Joseph Commencement 2023Calumet College of St. Joseph Commencement 2023

“The value of your college experience is much like that of a great friendship,” said President McCormack. “It makes life better. It helps you become who you are meant to be. It helps you make connections. And maybe, most importantly, helps you understand and appreciate the true value of something that should be cherished.”

Valedictorian of the Class of 2023 was Ariana Adam who received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. A native of Whiting, she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was the recipient of the Harold E. Burns Education Award. Adam had heard of the positive reputation CCSJ’s program had and was glad she made the decision to attend.

“I enjoyed the smaller class sizes and personal connections I made with the students and professors. Many professors here have made me love learning in a way I never knew I was capable of,” said Adam.

Adam is a first-generation college graduate.

“It’s very exciting. You always want to set a better example. Being not only a first-generation graduate but also Valedictorian, is just unreal to me,” said Adam.

Adam had been working closely with the School City of Hammond, where she student-taught. She hopes to start her career with them and even thanked them in her speech.

“Thank you to all my mentors and colleagues at the School City of Hammond for shaping me into the educator I am today. Your support and guidance have taught me so much.”

At the conclusion of her speech, Adam reminded fellow graduates that this was only the start of their future.

“This is not the end, it is the beginning. Today is the long-awaited day with an endless amount of opportunities for all of us,” said Adam.

Alumna Ambassador Carmen Lomellin was the Commencement Speaker. She is a former U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the National Coordinator for the Presidential-level Summit of the Americas. Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009, Ambassador Lomellin was responsible for advancing U.S. interests at the OAS and the Inter-American system as well as fostering regional cooperation and partnerships among OAS member states. Lomellin echoed Adam in her thoughts about the new opportunities ahead for the graduates.

“I worked the midnight shift at Inland Steel for many years while attending classes. It was all well worth it. Cal college (CCSJ) opened so many doors of opportunities for me and I know it will do the same for you,” said Lomellin.

Lomellin had advice for the graduates as she reflected on her early time in the White House.

“Letting go of self-doubt afforded me the opportunity of a lifetime,“ said Lomellin. “ When those voices start up, I say to you stop that. When you are feeling that you don’t belong, that you come from the wrong place, remember this. Demographics do not define destiny.”

She went on with further advice. “Don’t focus on your perceived deficiencies. Focus on what you and your unique talents bring to the table. Don’t ever sell yourself short. You know a lot more than you think you do. You are more prepared than you think you are. And you are certainly more prepared than you give yourself credit for.”

Sincere Northern graduated with a Bachelor's in Kinesiology. A third-generation college graduate, she had a strong line of college graduates to follow. She found value in her place at CCSJ. A volleyball player, Northern was grateful for the opportunities CCSJ provided. She felt prepared for the future.

“CCSJ really made this a good place for me. As a freshman, I was playing full court and that doesn’t usually happen as a freshman,” said Northern. “They made it really welcoming here. It was like a family.”

To learn more about Calumet College of St. Joseph, visit their website.