PNW’s first graduating class roars


Brooke Sotelo

A total of 990 students (816 from Hammond and 174 from Westville) graduated from PNW on December ROARS! 9 and 10. Ceremonies were held at the DSSAC on the Westville campus and the FRC on the Hammond campus.

Nine hundred ninety students comprised PNW’s first class of graduates after the unification of Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. The Westville campus hosted its commencement ceremony on Dec. 9 in the H.D. Kesling Gymnasium of the DSSAC, while the Hammond campus held two commencement ceremonies on Dec. 10 in the FNRC.

Of the Hammond campus’s two ceremonies, the first one held at 11 a.m. consisted of graduates from the College of Humanities, Education and Social Services and the College of Business, while the second ceremony held at 3 p.m. consisted of graduates from the College of Engineering and Sciences, the College of Nursing and the College of Technology.

“Our graduates give us an enormous amount of hope and joy,” Saul Lerner, professor of history, said.

Chancellor Thomas Keon greeted the crowd before introducing Christina Hale, a PNW alumna who has served two terms in the Indiana House of Representatives. Hale was the keynote speaker for all three ceremonies.

“I am here today because I know you. Here at Purdue Northwest, you have developed a work ethic like no other. I know you,” Hale said. “You’re doers, hustlers, multitaskers. I want you to mine this success as much as you can.”

Hale spoke about her time as a student at the former Purdue University North Central.

“I was a single mom from Michigan City. I hustled as a waitress. I did a number of jobs to make that car payment, to pay for my books. We hustle here, don’t we?”

Danny Hamilton, a mathematics major with minors in business and statistics who participated in the Hammond campus’s 3 p.m. ceremony, said it is an honor to be a part of PNW’s first graduating class.

“I feel really great to finally be done with school, and I’m excited to see what’s next for me in the future,” Hamilton said.