College of DuPage Celebrates 47th Commencement


By Brian Kleemann

While commencement is the culmination educational goals, it is also a beginning, and College of DuPage celebrated its 47th annual Commencement by urging its graduates to use their education as a springboard to success.

Keynote Speaker Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who grew up in Hinsdale and remembers the formation of Community College District 502 and College of DuPage, said that education is about a willingness to take risks and make a difference. Outstanding Graduates Rachel Dau of Glen Ellyn and Roxanne Peterson of Wheaton urged their fellow graduates to make the most of their opportunities.

Click here for photos from the event. 

Gov. Quinn commended the graduates for their commitment to education.

“You’ve worked so hard and dedicated yourselves to learning in order to make a difference in society,” he said. “We believe that education is not just for the elite but for everybody. If we are to have a strong democracy, then we must support a strong education base and continued lifelong education.”

Dau has earned two Associate in Applied Science degrees – in Culinary Arts and in Baking and Pastry Arts. She has begun her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management through COD’s 3+1 program with Roosevelt University.

By applauding her fellow graduates for taking advantage of the opportunities offered by College of DuPage, Dau advised them to continue moving forward and to take risks.

“If you wait for things to be handed to you, then you are not living to the fullest,” she said. “So I challenge you: go skydiving, backpack another continent, learn how to blow glass, enter a chocolate showpiece competition. Change the world.”

Peterson has graduated with her Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management through COD’s 3+1 program with Concordia University.

Despite several setbacks in her life, Peterson remained optimistic about her future and encouraged the graduates to be positive.

“We must always remember to have confidence in our abilities and view each day as an opportunity to live without fear,” she said. “Encourage each other, live with integrity an always pursue your passion. No one can take away the knowledge, experiences, and degree that you have earned at COD.”

Among the state's public colleges and universities, College of DuPage, with more than 28,000 students, is the second largest provider of undergraduate education in the State of Illinois, after the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.