This May, Indiana University Northwest will confer 830 degrees to the Class of 2019.
This achievement, signifies one of life’s significant accomplishments. It characterizes our graduates’ vision, dedication and hard work. It represents countless hours devoted to studying, writing, and researching.
And, most significant, it represents success. Through all of the opportunities and challenges, our graduates demonstrated the grit and drive to achieve their goals.
For some, it has taken only a few years to reach this point, for others, it has been a story years in the making.
This is very much the case for Brandon Wilson, a proud member of the Class of 2019.
Ten years ago, Brandon graduated from Calumet New Tech High School in Gary.
Shortly after, he jumped at the chance to start earning a living. College, at that time, was not on his radar.
Working full-time at a movie theater and a fast food chain taught him many working and life skills. But despite rising to district manager, he eventually realized his upward mobility was limited without a college degree.
As the first in his family to pursue college, Brandon had his share of questions when he enrolled at IU Northwest. Could he do it? Was it worth it?
But, now, as Brandon proudly earns his Bachelor of Business Administration, he now knows the answer: Yes. Yes, it is possible.
In fact, as Brandon attests, it was more than worth it. Those moments of doubt, struggle, and juggling life’s demands, including becoming a father during his first semester, were all answered when he was offered a full-time, Human Resources position at an American multinational retail corporation, nine months prior to graduating.
Reflecting on the last decade, Brandon is thankful for those many experiences from which he was able to learn so much. He treated each challenge as an opportunity to learn more, not only about professional life but himself, and the type of man he wishes to be.
I am sincerely proud of what Brandon has accomplished, and share that same sense of pride for the entire Class of 2019.
Their IU Northwest professors have prepared them to excel, whether it is in nursing, marketing or teaching. But it is through their IU education, specifically their IU liberal arts education that they have explored what it means to be discerning, judicious, civic-minded and philanthropic.
It is my great hope and expectation that, as these graduates progress through their postgraduate lives, that they proudly and honorably uphold these values. We can all be very proud to call these graduates Indiana University alumni.