Midwestern University CHS Commencement - Downers Grove

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Message from the President

It is my honor to welcome you to Midwestern University’s virtual commencement ceremony for the College of Health Sciences-Downers Grove, Class of 2021. This virtual ceremony is a time for family, friends, and loved ones to celebrate the important achievements of your graduate. While large, in-person celebrations are not possible this year, I look forward to seeing many of our graduates at an optional special closing ceremony. Although the closing ceremony is limited to graduates only, we will record this event and provide a link for viewing with family and friends. I thank you for your understanding, patience, and continued commitment to excellence as together we have successfully faced so many new challenges brought about by the global pandemic.

Our Midwestern University family comes together virtually today to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our extraordinary Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech-Language Pathology students. Our commencements have always focused on our graduates while acknowledging the faculty, loved ones, and supporters who helped them reach this important milestone. I personally thank every graduate for being a member of the Midwestern University academic community and entrusting us with their dreams.

Although you began orientation as strangers, today you graduate as friends and colleagues. Many of you received scholarships, awards, and acceptance into national honor societies. Your College Dean and professors commend your class for the professionalism and poise demonstrated throughout the many challenges of the pandemic and the effect it had on your clinical rotations, classes, and life in general. They have described you as being flexible and understanding, and able to adapt and serve patients and clients.

Students from your programs celebrated weddings and engagements and we know of at least one baby born during your time at Midwestern University. Over the course of your studies to become Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech-Language Pathologists, you still found time to give of yourselves through service. Many of you volunteered and participated in events such as the Chicago Marathon, Apraxia Kids Walk, and the Chicago Disability Pride Parade. And, many of you worked to address local and community issues relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion. When Midwestern University received approval to become a Point of Distribution for COVID-19 vaccines, many of you volunteered to support our community vaccination effort, Operation Hope. You set a wonderful example for our University community, and we urge you to continue to do so as you transition to your professional career.

This class of Physical Therapy graduates participated in national conferences and helped eliminate world hunger by volunteering at Feed My Starving Children. The Occupational Therapy graduates virtually presented research projects at the Illinois OT Association’s annual conference and achieved 100% student membership in the American Occupational Therapy Association. Graduates from the Speech-Language Pathology Program spearheaded many community outreach events including a book drive as part of Reach Out and Read Illinois to provide more diverse books for pediatric waiting rooms and several of you were part of a team that placed second in the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s College Bowl.  

While some of you will be staying in Illinois, the rest will be going out across the nation to begin your careers. For those of you entering the military, we are tremendously proud that you will represent the University as you serve our nation. Wherever you go, we know that you will represent Midwestern University and your College well, and that the lessons you learned over four years of study and clinical experiences will help you become the best version of yourselves, personally and professionally.

Please join me in celebrating our graduates and know that they are leaving Midwestern University with the full love and support of their faculty and staff. We are so proud of each and every one of our graduates who will soon join the team of healthcare professionals caring for our nation. Thank you for letting Midwestern University be a part of your journey.

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