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Northwestern College Conducts 109th Commencement, with FOX Reporter Anita Padilla as Keynote Speaker

Northwestern College conducted its 109th Commencement Ceremony Friday, June 28 at the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place in Chicago. This year’s Keynote Speaker was FOX 32 Chicago Reporter Anita Padilla, pictured here addressing the College’s 275
Northwestern College conducted its 109th Commencement Ceremony Friday, June 28 at the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place in Chicago. This year’s Keynote Speaker was FOX 32 Chicago Reporter Anita Padilla, pictured here addressing the College’s 275

[Bridgeview, Chicago-Jefferson Park & Naperville, IL] Northwestern College President Lawrence Schumacher announced that 312 students were awarded certificates and degrees at the College’s 109th Commencement Ceremony held on Friday, June 28 at the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place in Chicago. Graduates completed their studies at the College’s three Illinois campuses, including Bridgeview, Chicago-Jefferson Park and Naperville, as well as on-line.

Northwestern College was honored to feature FOX 32 Chicago Reporter Anita Padilla as its Keynote Speaker, the first such address of her career. Ms. Padilla connected with the graduates having grown up in Waukegan and endured many of the same financial and personal hardships to attain her own college degree. She advised them not to let others tell them what they could or could not be, or what they could achieve in their careers. “Cherish every first moment of your lives,” she advised. “While some first moments are frightening, they are also invigorating and special. Whether it’s a new job or starting college, you get through them. First one day, then one week, then one semester, then one year. Then things aren’t so unfamiliar anymore, and that first moment is behind you, and you say, ‘Ok – what’s next?’.”

Padilla advised that while things might be difficult at first, they get better. Describing her own life, she admitted that when she graduated from Columbia College in Chicago and got her first television job, she had only $21 in her checking account. Her father lent her a thousand dollars and she packed everything she owned into a car and drove west to the Quad Cities where she didn’t know anyone, and no one looked like her. That leap of faith helped to launch her career. “In life – in real life – those who are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and show others how badly they want something are rewarded.” 

Northwestern College President Lawrence Schumacher also addressed the Class of 2013, pointing out the numerous changes that had occurred in the world since they began their journey to obtain a college education. “Life will continue to change for you, and let me assure you, change will only pick up speed from this day forward.” He urged the Class not to be “ordinary”, but instead to be extraordinary. “Step up to the plate and use your diploma to take your ordinary lives and make them extraordinary. This commencement begins the next phase of your journey. During that journey, seize new opportunities and live extraordinary lives!”

About Northwestern College: 
Northwestern College (NC) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, www.ncahlc.org. The college offers focused career-oriented associate degree and certificate programs with flexible schedules and a supportive faculty. Day, evening, weekend, online classes and online programs are available. More information can be found at www.northwesterncollege.edu or by calling toll-free (888) 205-2283.

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