Commencement is coming!


Brittany Webb

Staff Writer

Parkland College’s Commencement Ceremony this year will be held on May 14 at the Krannert Center on University of Illinois campus.

Commencement marks, for many students, the completion of very important steps in their educational careers. Parkland students have the option of walking in the commencement ceremony or skipping it all together.  For some, it is the chance they have been waiting a long time for and they eagerly await the day.  Konnor Williford, a sophomore in the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program at Parkland, has worked hard to get where she is.

“I believe it is important to walk in commencement to really celebrate all the hard work I have put in at Parkland,” Williford commented.

Unfortunately for some students, tickets were very limited this year.  Students were allowed only four tickets to give to family members and friends.  However, for Cindy Webb, another LPN sophomore, 4 tickets per student was just the right amount.

“Students are only allowed 4 tickets so the people coming will be immediate family, [for me] my husband and 2 daughters,” Webb said.

Webb has earned 114 credit hours going into commencement. The commencement day is not a day for families, rather it is a day for the individual, it is about what the students themselves have achieved, and celebrating their hard work.

“I think it’s about time and being a nursing student about to graduate, it’s an honor,” Webb added.

The guest speaker at this year’s ceremony is Supreme Court Chief Justice Fourth District, Rita Garman.  Garman graduated from the University of Illinois and currently resides in Danville, so she is quite familiar with the area.  She does not have a prior connection to Parkland College, but was selected by administrators to be the guest speaker due to her outstanding achievements and the work she has done. Garman was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2001, and elected to the court in 2002.

“I think I was probably selected because I’m the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court,” Garman said. “I live close and I’m very interested in Parkland.”

Garman has also known Parkland College President, Dr. Ramage for a long time, and also several members of the Board of Trustees. In her speech Garman plans to talk about perseverance, why that’s important and why it’s important to take advantage of all opportunities that come along an individual’s way.

“Because you never know where life’s journey is going to take you,” Garman elaborated. “I hope they will be encouraged to not let this be the end, but to set other goals for themselves in life and to aspire to the accomplishment they can imagine.”

Garman hopes students will be proud of their accomplishments and achieving their goals. She has previously spoken at Parkland commencement, and has made some great speeches. Garman is also excited to encourage students to achieve the greatness they are capable of.

“I’ve done a number of these kinds of speeches,” Garman added. “I’ve spoken to Danville Area Community College and University of Iowa College of Law.”

Two days after she speaks at Parkland College’s commencement, Garman will also be speaking at the University of Illinois-College of Economics, where she graduated with highest honors in 1965.

“I’m just anxious to participate in this wonderful ceremony,” said Garman, “and to share the excitement of those that are graduating.”

The commencement ceremony will be held May 14, 2015 at 8 p.m. in Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Foellinger Great Hall.  Tickets are required for entry.  Any questions can be directed to the front desk in Student Life (U111), or by calling 217-351-2492.