More than 300 students will graduate from Calumet College of St. Joseph at its 55th annual commencement ceremony Saturday, May 20th at Rittenmeyer Gymnasium.
The graduating class includes 17 associate’s degree recipients, 200 bachelor recipients and 93 Master’s recipients,
A baccalaureate Mass will be celebrated prior to the graduation exercises that morning.
One of those graduating is 24-year-old Ramiro Rojas, a biomedical science major, who also has a minor in English.
Rojas plans to continue his education at the University of Miami where he will become a nurse.
“I want to save as many lives as possible,” he said.
Besides studying, Rojas has also been writing a memoir for the last two years that he hopes to get published soon.
Rojas says he feels very proud to be finally graduating after studying five years.
“It feels refreshing, accomplished, weight lifted off shoulders, but at the same time, feels I closed a door to open a new one,” said Rojas, who was born in Cuba but raised in Miami.
Rojas participated in the English Department’s Honors program. He made the Dean’s list four times and was a three-year captain for the Crimson Wave wrestling team.
He has advice for incoming college students; “Meet as many people as possible, make connections, don’t be afraid to put yourselves in an uncomfortable situation because it can be a good change. Stay away from the norm and be a rebel, there’s some things I wish I would’ve done, but did not,” Rojas said.
Retired Indiana State Senator Earline Rogers will be the keynote speaker and receive an honorary degree.
Rogers, a Democrat from Gary, served more than three decades in the Indiana General Assembly.
She did not seek reelection in 2016.
It should be noted that it takes a lot of work to organize the graduation ceremony and takes nearly an entire year to plan.
More than 20 people work together to manage one special day. The President and Vice-President at CCSJ must practice a script before the ceremony.
The student who earns class valedictorian has two weeks to prepare their speech.
Then there is the flowers that must be ordered, along with invitations, decorations and numerous other details to work out.
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