North Central College - Naperville, IL

Commencement 2010: A Notable Finale

A stormy forecast on June 12 provided the perfect opportunity to enlist the air-conditioned and roomy environment of the new Res/Rec Center for the College’s 145th Commencement. After a few adjustments to the traditional procession and with the help of audio-visual equipment, the 598 graduates who attended and their families and friends enjoyed the ceremony while thunder boomed outside.

Dr. Olufunmilayo OlopadeA Commencement message of perseverance and the importance of education and service came from Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade, associate dean for global health and Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She told the audience about missionaries in Nigeria influencing her father’s education. “The missionaries made an impact on my father, who started school at the age of almost 19 and had to walk more than 200 miles in pursuit of primary education,” she said.“He later became an Anglican minister and he was the one who encouraged his fifth child, a daughter in a male-dominated society, to become a doctor.”

Olopade has since become an internationally respected expert in cancer research and treatment and was named a MacArthur Fellow. “Based on the values of this College ... I would challenge you to look for service and learning opportunities that reach beyond this beautiful suburban community or our country’s borders,” said Olopade, who received an honorary doctor of science degree during the ceremonies.

PatrickA doctor of humane letters degree was presented to the Honorable Patrick Joseph Lucey, Wisconsin’s 38th Governor and former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. A mentor of President Harold Wilde, who worked with him in the Wisconsin Governor’s Office in the early 1970s, Lucey was honored “for the witness of your long life to the values of integrity, hard work, compassion and empathy; for your uncanny ability to link principle, public policy and political effectiveness; for your role as a teacher and mentor to a generation of young men and women, including the ninth president of this institution,” said Wilde in presenting the degree.

North Central NOW Fall 2010