TERRE HAUTE —
Thick, wet snow blanketed the city around Hulman Center late Saturday morning, as graduating Indiana State University students made their way inside to wrap up their college careers.
Inside, students shook off the snow and then posed for photographs with smiling and proud family and friends. In a few moments, they would be lining up to accept their degrees after years of study and work.
“It feels great,” said Katheryne Irene Barrow, of Chicago, a legal studies major and the first among her immediate family to complete a college degree. Barrow, who was awaiting the start of the ceremony with other graduates in a staging area, said she plans to attend DePaul University’s law school next fall.
“They’re really proud,” Barrow said of her parents, who made the trip down from Chicago. Her mother cried before the ceremony began, making Barrow cry, too, she said, smiling. Her favorite courses at ISU were all of her political science classes, she said. What did she like most about ISU? “The professors,” she answered.
Tisha Hardesty, of Clinton, graduating with a music business degree, also praised ISU’s professors.
“I can honestly say that we have some of the best professors who will go out of their way to help you succeed,” she said. “My most difficult professors were also the most helpful.”
Hardesty’s degree, along with an internship at the Terre Haute Symphony, will help her launch a career in the music industry, she said. “I’ve loved music since I was a kid,” she said.
Graduates prepared for the ceremony by decorating their caps, chatting with friends or talking with family. Inside the auditorium, the Faculty Brass Quintet entertained the waiting crowd.
About 11:45 a.m., led by professors holding large-size banners emblazoned with the names of the university’s colleges, the graduates filed in to “Pomp and Circumstance.”
“Today is the beginning of a new phase in your lives,” said Dan Bradley, ISU president, speaking to the approximately 350 graduates attending the winter commencement.
Graduate Joseph Allan Weiss, of Paoli, a nursing student, was the student commencement speaker. He asked his fellow graduates to make community service part of their lives. He also urged them to engage in ordinary acts of kindness. “Make it your daily goal to make one person smile,” he said.
Melanie Brooke Trammell, of Greensburg, an elementary education major, received the Hines Memorial Medal, which honors the student graduating with the highest honors classification cumulative grade point average on at least 120 semester hours.
Jacqueline Jeanette Dan of Mishawaka, a special and elementary education major, received the President’s Medal for Leadership, Scholarship and Service.
In all, more than 600 students were eligible to graduate this December from ISU.
Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.