UIC holds virtual graduation ceremony

More than 3,200 students from the University of Illinois Chicago, as well as UIC John Marshall Law School, had the opportunity to be part of the Fall Commencement virtual graduation celebration Dec. 12.

All summer and fall graduates from the colleges of Applied Health Sciences; Architecture, Design, and the Arts; Business Administration; Education; Engineering; Liberal Arts and Sciences; Nursing; Urban Planning and Public Affairs; School of Public Health; the College of Medicine Rockford Regional site, and John Marshall Law School were invited to take part. There were 1,860 undergraduate students, 1,357 graduate students and 71 UIC John Marshall graduates being honored.

The university teamed up with Marching Order, a private company that allows an opportunity for educational institutions to provide a tailored virtual graduation ceremony. In a prerecorded announcement, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis expressed the university’s pride in the graduates.

“As graduates, each one of you will pick up the mantle of responsibility in the middle of one of the most singularly defining moments in human history; your actions will be part of that history. Your education at UIC has provided you with the tools to carry that mantle,” Amiridis said. “I am deeply proud of all of you. You have my best wishes and confidence that you will go far.”

There were three ceremonies: one for graduate students, one for undergraduate students and one for UIC John Marshall Law School students.

The university’s colleges shared information about their graduates with the Marching Order site through links that enabled them to be shared by the graduates themselves. They had an opportunity to list their names, major and a personal message.

Among the students who graduated was Sarun “Mac” Chanprung who had been set to graduate in May 2020 with a kinesiology degree, but his graduation was pushed back after he couldn’t complete a required internship due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“But I feel like it all worked out somehow,” said Chanprung, a senior in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Kelsey Crawley graduated from UIC John Marshall Law school with a focus on criminal law. The former corrections officer said she wanted a path to become part of the solution and became inspired by law students who went to the jail where she worked to teach some of the incarcerated men.

“I thought it was really interesting and decided that I would go to law school,” she said. “I think if you’re able to overcome all of the challenges of law school — whether they’re big or small — it makes the degree matter that much more, and it makes times just reflecting on it that much sweeter. It definitely helps shape you into the person that you’re meant to be.”

The UIC John Marshall Law School featured an address from Appellate Court Judge Joy V. Cunningham, who is also a John Marshall alumna. The graduate and undergraduate ceremonies featured speeches from University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen, Chancellor Amiridis, and UIC Vice Chancellor for Advancement Tom Wamsley.

The ceremonies went live on the commencement website at 2 p.m. For safety reasons related to COVID-19, all ceremonies were prerecorded.

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