North Central College - Naperville, IL

Caps in translation

The Class of 2013 is off to Yale University, Princeton Theological Seminary, Mayo Graduate School, the Peace Corps, Teach For America, area school districts and corporations like Allstate, Northern Trust and OfficeMax. Many shared some very profound feelings on Commencement Day by creating unique messages for their mortarboards.

"A whale for my daddy who didn’t believe I would make it to study in America, so he said I was going fishing. A whale because it is the biggest fish, symbolizing that I caught the biggest fish for my dad. Earning a scholarship to be able to study in America is not a usual thing in my country.”

Yen Hong Do ’13, Finance and global studies majors, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

“The sugar skull is a symbol used in the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration, a holiday I have grown particularly fond of. The skulls are usually decorated with marigold flowers and other adornments. For my senior art gallery I chose to use the symbol of skulls in many of my pieces. When I decorated my mortarboard, I used my favorite skull.”

Samantha Suarez ’13, Interactive media studies and sociology majors

“I decorated my hat with ‘It’s Been Great’ because I had an amazing time while at North Central and I really wanted to let everyone know exactly what I thought.”

Megan Schrock ’13, Biology major, interning in New Mexico at a wildlife refuge

“’Break a leg’ has been a traditional form of wishing a performer luck … it’s simple, yet contains so much joy, excitement and support … it was the perfect cherry on top of my college experience and it would inspire my fellow classmates to imagine just how much there is to come in our futures.”

Kelli LaValle '13, musical theatre major, has signed with Ambassador Talent Agency

“In January I lost my mom to cancer. Before she passed I promised her I was going to finish my degree. She always asked me how much longer did I have to go. My dad was there to witness my promise to them both. I wanted to create something with a significant meaning.”

Artonno Lee Hanks ’13, Human resource management major, HR intern at the McCormick Foundation and starting an M.B.A.

“I wanted to use the elements from the periodic table to spell out ‘NCC Bio Nerds’ and the syringe, lab coat and notepad all display how my degree has given me the opportunity to pursue a career in medicine. My inspiration stemmed from wanting to display how North Central has molded me into the person I am today. I also wanted to show off my imagination. (People in the) sciences can be creative as well.”

Ethan Knowlton ’13, biology major, accepted into Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University

“My grandma, Mary J. Schmoeger, was the absolute joy of my life and always told me she wanted to live to see me graduate from college. Unfortunately, she passed away last summer and I ushered her casket out of the church and said my last goodbyes to the song ‘It Is Well with My Soul.’ Having my hat say that was a way of having her with me during my graduation.”

Austin Sadnick ’13, marketing and management majors, marketing coordinator for Power Home Remodeling

The story behind ‘for you old man’ is one that is extremely close to my heart. During my sophomore year of college, I suddenly and unexpectedly lost my dad (whom I always called “old man”). My dad was a huge part of my life at North Central. He helped me create the best dorm rooms. He encouraged me to follow my dreams. He was always just there to listen. Losing him was a huge test to my strength and motivation … I began dedicating the big tasks and achievements in my life to him. Graduating is the first big achievement I’ve experienced without my old man there cheering me on. I missed him like crazy that day, but having ‘for you old man’ on my mortarboard kept his presence very alive. My old man and North Central are very important parts of my life that I will continue to carry with me wherever I go!”

Jacie Keeney ’13, mathematics major, attending Rosalind Franklin University to earn a Ph.D. in clinical health psychology

“For awhile it’s just been my dad and me. We’ve gone through a lot together, and frankly I wouldn’t have been at graduation without his endless help, love and support. I wanted to let him know that my graduation was as much for him as it was for me.”

Jill Brunner ’13, psychology major, life coach and mental health professional with the Association for Individual Development

“Everyone told me that art education was a dying field and that it would be next to impossible to find a job, but I did! I added the #employed because I have a teaching job.”

Anne Adamski ’13, art education K-12 major, future teacher at Grant Community High School in Fox Lake, IL