College of DuPage celebrates 57th commencement

More than 760 graduates received their diplomas during College of DuPage’s 57th Commencement, with outstanding graduates Lourdez Ardila of Warrenville and Stephanie Chávez of Glendale Heights providing encouragement to their fellow graduates.

View photos from the event on the COD Newsroom page on

Ardila, who is transferring to Aurora University to major in industrial organizational psychology, spoke about being fearless when facing the future.

“As we move on from COD, we face the next unknown,” she said. “But you will always have a choice: you can go through life avoiding the opportunities that disguise themselves as risks. Or you can run toward your fears and learn who you truly are from them.”

Chávez, who is studying education at Elmhurst University, recognized the effort that all graduates put into earning their degrees or certificates.

“We have all worked so hard, many of us balancing school on top of work and our personal lives,” she said. “Tonight, all of the hard work will have paid off as we close this chapter and leave behind the fear and doubt that we started with and take with us: pride and passion.”

The college awarded more than 2,600 degrees and certificates during the 2023-24 academic year.

College of DuPage is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving more than 26,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The college grants seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

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