Midwestern University CCO Commencement

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Message from the President

It is my honor to welcome you to Midwestern University’s virtual commencement ceremony for the Chicago College of Optometry, 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 inaugural class of graduating optometry 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 earned scholarships, awards, and received the honor of Gold Key membership for your leadership and service. 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, board exams, and life in general. They have described you as being resilient and supportive of each other as you embarked on this journey to blaze the trail for future optometry classes. 

This inaugural class showed tremendous fortitude and grace as your program grew and expanded. You were an especially tight-knit group and several of you celebrated weddings and engagements. Over the course of your studies to become optometrists, you still found time to give of yourselves through service. Many of you volunteered and participated in events and mission trips. 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.

Several of you will begin your careers in private practice while others have successfully secured optometric residencies. Some of you will be staying in Illinois and the rest will be going out across the nation to begin your careers. 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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