Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan keynotes graduating class

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GRADUATES OF CITY Colleges of Chicago are getting ready to head off to in-demand careers or transfer to four-year colleges after receiving their associate degrees April 30th at the 2016 City Colleges of Chicago commencement ceremony at the UIC Pavilion.

Graduates of City Colleges of Chicago are getting ready to head off to in-demand careers or transfer to four-year colleges after receiving their associate degrees April 30th at the 2016 City Colleges of Chicago commencement ceremony at the UIC Pavilion. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered the keynote address to the more than 1,800 graduates and 8,000 guests gathered for the occasion. Arne Duncan is currently Managing Partner at Emerson Collective–a philanthropic endeavor headed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

“On behalf of the entire city I want to congratulate today’s graduates on their incredible achievements, and recognize the hard work and dedication it took to get here,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Every graduate has earned something of tremendous value – a quality education that will propel them to a lifetime of better opportunities.”

“I know that getting to graduation day at City Colleges is tough, but worth it,” said Cheryl Hyman, City Colleges Chancellor and – along with Northwestern University and the Illinois Institute of Technology – a graduate of Olive-Harvey College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. “Whether after finals you are stepping into the job market or getting ready to transfer for your bachelor’s degree – and many of you will do both – today is an achievement you should be proud of. But, it is just a first step.”

Since Chancellor Cheryl Hyman launched a Reinvention to refocus the institution on both student access and success, City Colleges has more than doubled both its graduation rate and number of degrees awarded annually.

The 2016 Valedictorians met with Keynote Speaker Arne Duncan prior to the ceremony to discuss their career and educational goals.

  • Kennedy-King College: Andrianna Hicks
  • Olive-Harvey College: Olajumoke “Jummie” Arogundade
  • Malcolm X College: Qiao Liu
  • Truman College: Sean Devaney
  • Wilbur Wright College: Rachel Weaver
  • Richard J. Daley College: Lizet Martinez
  • Harold Washington College: Josephine Frempong

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