Indiana University Southeast conferred 985 degrees at its 51st Commencement on Monday at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.
The Class of 2019 consists of 966 candidates earning 868 bachelor’s degrees, 115 master’s degrees and two associate’s degrees. Thirty-three students walked across the stage with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
“You are on the cusp of actualizing IU Southeast’s vision to shape the future of our community,” said Dr. Ray Wallace, IU Southeast chancellor, to the graduating students. “You are this region’s next leaders, next innovators and next creative minds, our dreamers, our doers, our future.”
The student response was delivered by Miranda Ochoa, a business major and Chancellor’s Medallion Scholarship recipient from Richmond, Indiana.
Ochoa recounted memorable days in her career at IU Southeast as a series of stepping stones from freshman jitters to a clear vision of her future via impactful experiences in mentoring, residence life and work-study.
“In a short 1,351 days, IU Southeast has given me a second home, new friends and a second family,” Ochoa said. “Thank you, IU Southeast, and everyone who has been involved in this crucial chapter of my life, for all the opportunities you have given me.”
The Class of 2019 ranges in age from 19 to 76, and hails from 32 Indiana counties, 10 U.S. states and 14 countries of origin. More than 33 percent of these candidates became the first in their families to attain an undergraduate degree.
The most popular degree to be granted Monday was the Bachelor of Arts, while the most popular major was the Bachelor of Science in Business.
IU Southeast has awarded nearly 35,000 degrees over the past half century. Nearly 80 percent of graduates remain in Indiana and the Louisville metropolitan area.
William Shrewsberry, Jr., president and CEO of Indianapolis engineering and environmental consulting firm Shrewsberry & Associates, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the Commencement ceremony.
Dr. Josh Kornberg, president of the IU Southeast Alumni Board of Direcctors, presented the IU Southeast Distinguished Alumni Award to Brigadier General Retired, Michael J. Dornbush ’76.
In his address, IU President Michael A. McRobbie paid tribute to influential Hoosier alumni and educators who had used their IU experiences to create lasting change in the world.
In remembering U.S. Senators Birch Bayh and Richard Lugar, trailblazing NFL player George Taliaferro, psychiatrist Dr. David Hamburg, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Elinor Ostrom, President McRobbie drew attention to common qualities of collaboration, integrity, a commitment to constant and untiring study, and “an unremitting dedication to the search for truth.”
“The qualities and virtues that allowed these five great figures from IU’s history to succeed are the very virtues you have learned during your time at IU Southeast,” McRobbie said in challenging the Class of 2019 to devote themselves to advancing the common good. “May it be said in years to come that it was graduates like you, here and around the world, who confronted and conquered the most difficult challenges of today and gained the respect, admiration and gratitude of all.”
Homepage photo by Pat Pfister.