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 (CHS), Downers Grove Campus. This spring has been unlike any we have ever experienced, and I cannot be more impressed by and grateful for all our students, faculty, and staff at Midwestern University. They have worked together to respond to new challenges with resilience, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. While I truly wish we could all be together for this momentous occasion, I know that the true spirit of Midwestern University is not dependent on a place, time, or gathering.

The Midwestern University family comes together today to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our extraordinary students from 3 doctoral and master programs: Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, and Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. Our commencement ceremonies 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.

You began orientation as strangers, but today, you graduate as friends and colleagues. These past years were filled with many events, milestones, and unique experiences. While you were completing your studies at Midwestern, students from your programs celebrated weddings and several engagements.

Commencement is a joyful event that celebrates all of your accomplishments, but it is also an opportunity to remember love ones who, although no longer with us, made a big impact in your lives. I invite you to reflect on the care, love, and generosity you received from those special individuals, and, if you wish, dedicate your graduation to them. It is my sincere hope that you will always cherish the memories of your loved ones’ kindnesses and support through your education, and that those memories will encourage you to return those kindnesses to your patients and communities.

Over the course of your studies to become occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists, you still found time for volunteering and service, both during on-campus events and outreach to the community. This class worked with the senior population, Special Olympic athletes, high school students wanting to learn more about healthcare careers, and many others, brought much-needed resources to people in need and taught you the value of service to others. Your University is proud of you and what you have accomplished in volunteering your time, skills, and energies. I encourage you to continue your outreach as you move forward into your careers as healthcare providers. 

This class of Occupational Therapy graduates are the first to earn a doctoral degree from Midwestern University, completing academically rigorous capstone projects and doctoral internships. In addition, you founded new organizations such as the Upper Extremity Special Interest Club and the OT Inclusivity Committee.

Our Physical Therapy graduates excelled in and out of the classroom and hosted a variety of community programs including an event on how to prevent neck pain from electronic device use, teaching female soccer athletes exercises to prevent ACL injuries, and raising money for PT research.

Graduates from the Speech-Language Pathology Program spearheaded many community outreach events such as the Reading Rockstars for young children, the Apraxia Walk, and hosted the Better Speech and Hearing Panel. You also demonstrated your vast knowledge and collaborative spirit by winning the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s College Bowl.  

Today, you are receiving your Doctoral Degree in Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy, or your Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology, and joining the ranks of outstanding alumni that serve the health care community all around our nation and the world. Our graduates are leaders in all health care fields, representing Midwestern University with pride wherever they practice.  You, like all of those who have graduated before you, have the necessary skills to be an exceptional and compassionate member of the health care team.

Some of you will be staying in Illinois to practice, and the rest will be moving to different parts of the U.S. 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 be worthy representatives of Midwestern University and your College.

We celebrate our Class of 2020 and know that they leave 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 heroes caring for our nation. Thank you for letting Midwestern University be a part of your journey.

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