Blakemore Encourages Record Number of Graduates to Make a Difference at PSC’s Annual Ceremony

2010 PSC graduates

PSC graduates Etta Oben, Allision Trujillo, Alyssa Rhodes, Lauren-Ashley White, and Cayla Wiegele. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– All things are possible.

That’s the message that Jerry Blakemore had for the graduates at Prairie State College’s (PSC) 51st annual commencement ceremony held on May 22. Blakemore, who grew up in Ford Heights, is the vice president and general counsel for Southern Illinois University.

“You have stayed the course and completed this phase of your life’s achievements,” said Blakemore to the graduates. “We are proud of you—I am proud of you, and this community needs you to continue to realize your dreams and contribute your time, talent, and intellect to this nation and the world.”

Blakemore went on to encourage the graduates to use what they gained to help others. He said, “It is what you give, not what you take that matters. Give by setting an example of honesty and integrity. Our communities need that. Set an example of civility and tolerance. Be an ambassador for a cause greater than you. Understand that all things are possible.”

More than 450 students graduated from PSC and earned associate degrees and certificates. A record number 300 students participated in the ceremony.

Also during the ceremony, Etta Oben, of Matteson; Allison Trujillo, of Chicago Heights; and Cayla Wiegele, of Beecher, received the President’s Leadership Award. This annual award is given to one or more graduates who have maintained a high academic standing while demonstrating significant leadership contributions to the college.

Alyssa Rhodes, of Homewood; and Lauren-Ashley White, of Chicago Heights; received recognition as members of the Phi Theta Kappa All-Illinois Academic Team. Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community college students.

“There is something very special about a college commencement—people gathered together to celebrate the achievements of family and friends,” said Dr. Eric C. Radtke, college president. “We know our graduates are here because of their own hard work and dedication. I congratulate them on achieving this significant educational milestone.”