EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville continued its commencement exercises Saturday, May 7 with ceremonies honoring graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the School of Engineering (SOE). Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Denise Cobb, PhD, led the conferral of degrees.

At the 9 a.m. ceremony, CAS student speaker Josie Pauley, who earned a bachelor’s in applied communication studies, encouraged graduates to live in the now and make the most of every moment.

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“Live in your own present,” she said. “Once we master the process of living in the present and focusing on ourselves, the possibilities that surround us are truly endless.”

Having crossed the commencement stage 50 or more years ago, Class of 2022 Golden Graduates were honored. Cobb referenced the speech given by U.S. Senator Charles H. Percy at the Golden Graduates’ commencement ceremony in June 1972.

“I would like to read you a few excerpts from his speech, which still hold true today,” Cobb shared. “Remember that the most precious gift you have is the right to be a free citizen in a free society. Use that freedom to participate, to shape, to influence and to count to the fullest. Much of my faith in the future of our country stems from my belief that you will maintain your commitment to participate and to encourage others to participate.”

Elizabeth Semande served as the student speaker during the 12 p.m. CAS ceremony. Semande received a bachelor’s in geography and anthropology. Following graduation, she will serve as a geospatial analytical intern with Maxar Technologies.

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“In the past four years I can definitely say that my life has changed,” she noted. “All of ours have. The world changed before we were ready for it. We had to persevere and adapt more times than we can count. We’ve proven that we can persevere through trying times and continue pushing toward our goals. I am confident we will succeed and create a positive future for ourselves and others as we become engaged citizens of the world through our hard work, kindness, creativity, innovation, inclusion and a love for learning.”

During the 4 p.m. SOE ceremony, Dean Cem Karacal, PhD, recognized the School’s dual diploma programs with Istanbul Technical University and Changshu Institute of Technology, which offer students from Turkey and South Korea a chance to study for two years in the United States.

Madison House earned a bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering and represented SOE graduates as the student speaker.

“This class can achieve anything we put our minds to, and we can use our creative and innovative ideas, technological skill sets, and strategic management abilities to build a better future,” House said. “Fellow graduates, never stop putting one foot in front of the other, because your story is not over yet. This is just the beginning of an incredible road ahead.”

House has secured a position as an associate electrical engineer at the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant with Ameren Missouri. She will be pursuing a master’s in electrical and computer engineering at SIUE.

All ceremonies were streamed live on siue.edu/tv.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.

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