It was a weekend of celebrating the hard work of local students in Elgin both Friday and Saturday.
Elgin Community College held its fall commencement ceremony Friday night, opened by ECC President David Sam. Donna Redmer, chair of the Community College District 509 board of trustees, delivered a message from the board. Sandra Hoston of Elgin, a member of the 2013 graduating class, was the commencement speaker.
In separate ceremonies Saturday, Judson University celebrated more than 120 graduates at Herrick Chapel on the Elgin campus. The Christian liberal arts and sciences university held commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. for graduates of the School of Art, Design and Architecture and the School of Leadership and Business, and another at 2 p.m. for graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education. The events marked the 70th commencement ceremony at Judson.
Hampshire High School and Northwestern University alum Jake Goebbert was the keynote speaker at both, using his experience as a professional baseball player to inspire the Judson graduates.
"It is our choices that show who we are far more than our abilities," he said, pointing to the rough road he's endured the last year and the struggles dealing with the uncertainty of his career. He encouraged graduates to make wise choices, and then go confidently in pursuing those choices and not to look back.
Goebbert is an outfielder with the Oakland Athletics farm system, and lives in the area with his wife during the offseason. While at Northwestern, he won three Big Ten Player of the Week awards and was a three-time Academic-All Big Ten award recipient. He studied psychology and was also taking prerequisites for pre-medicine.