HAMMOND | Praising their “unique combination of a great education coupled with a work ethic that results from growing up in the ‘region’,” alumnus Jeffery Gardner expressed optimism on the afternoon of May 17 about the future for Purdue University Calumet graduates.
Gardner, president and CEO of Windstream Communications in Little Rock, Ark., delivered the graduation address during Purdue Calumet Commencement Exercises.
The 1983 Purdue Calumet accounting graduate heads a company that provides voice and data network communications and managed services to companies nationwide, as well as residential broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers within its coverage area. He addressed some 650 graduates plus family members, friends, and university faculty and staff at the Radisson Star Plaza Theater.
Among others participating in Purdue Calumet’s 65th graduation were members of the Purdue University Board of Trustees, Purdue President Mitch E. Daniels, Jr. and Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon.
Gardner discussed the impact of his Purdue Calumet education on his life and career, sharing references of noteworthy professors and noting success that previous Purdue Calumet graduates have enjoyed.
He also offered advice on future success, how to stand out in business and take risks, and the importance of demonstrating a sense of urgency.
Purdue Calumet’s spring graduation class totals 943, consisting of 232 master’s degree recipients, 687 baccalaureates and 24 earning associate degrees.
The ceremony included a posthumous presentation of an Associate of Science degree in Computer Graphics Technology to the parents of Griffith student Matthew Rocchietti, who died last November.
In addition to brief comments by Chancellor Thomas L. Keon, outgoing Purdue Calumet Student Government Association President Marissa Henderson offered remarks.
Graduates with the top grade point average from each of Purdue Calumet’s six undergraduate academic schools were presented a Chancellor’s Medallion. Other academically-distinguished candidates, as well as those graduating from the Honors Program also were recognized.
This year’s class increases to more than 47,700 the total number of degrees granted at Purdue Calumet.