A crowd of several thousand filled the Residence Hall/Recreation Center to watch 652 students accept their degrees: 529 students earned bachelor’s degrees and 123 received advanced degrees.
“Your graduation marks a very significant milestone in the history of this College,” said President Harold Wilde. “One-hundred and fifty years ago, the leaders of the Evangelical Church established a college for both men and women on the Illinois frontier, grounded in their Christian faith ... they believed that a long-term investment in education and moral leadership against ignorance, prejudice, injustice and slavery would lead to a more enlightened society and a better world, and continue paying dividends long after they were gone. You, the Class of 2011, are what they dreamed of a century and a half ago, the promise in which they invested their lives and treasure and, above all, their faith.”
In addition to Commencement speaker Christian Wiman, honorary degrees were awarded to Brenda Barnes, former chief executive of the Sara Lee Corporation; Roger Hruby ’58, business leader, entrepreneur and former chair of the College’s Board of Trustees; and Myron Wentz ’63, scientist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and best-selling author.
Also honored was Richard Norenberg ’55, College Life Trustee, with the Gael D. Swing Award for Meritorious Service. Marti Bogart, associate professor of economics and associate dean for academic affairs, was named the 20th recipient of the Harold and Eva White First Citizen of the College Award. Molly Link ’11, a sociology major from Batavia, IL, was voted recipient of the Mark A. Reid Student Leadership Award by her senior classmates.
Christian Wiman, published poet and editor of Poetry magazine, began his speech with a forceful recitation of “These Poems” by Robert Bringhurst. He held the crowd spellbound with his lyrical and heartfelt remarks.
North Central Now Fall 2011