Capping off success at graduation

Student receiving diploma Published May 16, 2024

The newest class of College of Lake County (CLC) graduates walked the stage into the next chapter of their lives during the college’s commencement ceremony Saturday, May 11.

“On behalf of the entire college community I congratulate you as you join the long legacy of successful CLC graduates who have crossed the stage before you,” said CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick. “With this commencement, CLC has graduated more than 65,000 students.”

Jake Pardus, a graduate who earned an associate in science with a focus in sustainability, addressed his fellow graduates with thoughts to remember as they move onto the next chapter of their lives.

“If CLC was a steppingstone for you, a return to education from years past, or if you are joining the workforce after today, make sure that you are happy,” Pardus said. “Make sure you are your biggest and best advocate. And make sure to cut yourself some slack because simply put, we're all living this life for the very first time.”

As graduates left the gym and met with their family and friends, they reflected on their time at CLC.

“It was a lot of work,” said graduate Jada Smith. “It's nice to see how all the hard work has paid off.”

Smith graduated with an associate in arts. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in criminology, law and justice at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

“I feel equally stressed and happy,” said graduate Nicholas Kusinski. “It was difficult, but I persevered. I'm grateful for everyone who supported me along the way.”

Kusinski graduated with an associate in arts degree with a focus in political science. He is transferring to Lake Forest College.

CLC faculty and staff gathered to bid the graduates a warm farewell, reminding them this milestone is just the beginning of their lifelong journey of learning and growth. The new alumni departed with a sense of accomplishment, ready to embrace the future and make their mark on the world. CLC looks forward to the many successes these graduates will achieve, knowing they carry the spirit of CLC with them wherever they go.