CHICAGO, May 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrating the achievements of the 2021 graduating class and year-long efforts to provide a safe living and learning environment, North Park University's (North Park) commencements culminated at an in-person outdoor diploma presentation ceremony. Students unable to participate in-person had their name read in absentia.
"What a journey you have made in reaching this important milestone, not just in the past year and a half, with the many challenges we have had to navigate together, but throughout your North Park experience," said North Park President Mary K. Surridge.
Adhering to City of Chicago capacity guidelines, the May 8th outdoor diploma ceremony held on the field of the University's Holmgren Athletic Complex, conferred 447 degrees upon 445 graduates, with 293 of those undergraduate and 154 graduated degrees. The diploma presentation ceremony was recorded and incorporated into a virtual program broadcasted online, Saturday, May 15th.
With most students choosing to participate, the streamlined program accommodated the graduates and their two guests each within one day. Meticulous planning went into the outdoor ceremony – sound, processional, guest entrance and exit, spacing of seats, sanitizing protocols throughout the day – and most of all making it a meaningful experience.
Capping off a year like no other, with students, faculty, and staff quickly adapting to COVID-19 guidelines, North Park's Pandemic Response Team worked year-round to create the best possible college experience for both remote and in-person learners. They closely monitored changing city and state guidelines and case numbers and adjusted policies accordingly.
"The remarkable achievements of this resilient class will be forever noted as part of the rich history and strength of our university. Our graduates displayed the persistence and perseverance to succeed. We have much to be grateful for, and much to respect and admire in this outstanding class," said Surridge.
North Park jumped 22 spots in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report's Best Midwest Universities; is ranked 14th of 87 Midwest schools in social mobility; and is one of only 17 Midwest schools named by peers for Best Undergraduate Teaching. In 2021, The Wall Street Journal ranked North Park as among the top 50 higher education institutions in the country for diversity.
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SOURCE North Park University