North Central College - Naperville, IL

Commencement 2009

“To ‘Be a Builder’ also means this: don’t ever be satisfied. Look at the world and see how you can improve it — in other words, ‘Be A Critic.’”
-Blair Kamin, Commencement Speaker

The Year of the Arts culminated with a Commencement ceremony celebrating the achievements of leaders in architecture, art, dance, theater and philanthropy. The five honorary degree recipients provided a fitting send-off for the Class of 2009, which witnessed the expansion of the North Central College campus by more than 375,000 square feet, including the Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center and Meiley-Swallow Hall.

“It’s been said that this graduating class should wear a hard hat instead of a mortarboard,” said President Harold Wilde. “In the four years most of you have been here, you have experienced more construction than any class in the College’s long history.” Wilde’s comments set the stage for the Commencement speaker, Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune and North Central adjunct professor or art, who spoke on “Be a Builder.”

Kamin received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree along with James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago; Joan Gray, President of Muntu Dance Theatre; Roche Schulfer, Executive Director of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre; and Judy G. Meiley Stevenson, president and treasurer of Magnetrol International, Inc., and long-time benefactor of the fine arts at North Central College. Son Jeffrey Swallow ’94, a College trustee, accepted on her behalf.

Added Wilde: “In honoring some of this region’s and nation’s most distinguished figures in the arts, we are celebrating the richness of the cultural and artistic heritage of Chicago and this region.”

Watch video of the Commencement address as well as other commencement highlights.

North Central NOW Fall 2009