Judson welcomes students back to campus for fall semester
New and returning students began moving into Judson University's campus dormitories Thursday ahead of the start of the fall semester.
The Elgin Christian liberal arts university hosted activities throughout the week in welcoming students.
Twenty students enrolled in the Road to Independent Living, Spiritual Formation and Employment, or RISE, program attended a special welcome event Wednesday.
The two-year certificate program offers students 18 to 25 years with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to attend classes, learn life skills, attend chapel and participate in other campus activities.
RISE Director Kathy Lambert and Assistant Director Brian Madaj introduced new students and their parents and gave updates on returning students. Program founders Gayle Gianopulos and Nancy Binger, vice president of strategic planning and enrollment services, shared the history of the program, and RISE parents talked about its impact on their families.
Judson alumnus, comedian and motivational speaker David Rendall spoke to RISE students about discovering their unique potential and turning perceived weaknesses into practical strengths. Once a leadership professor, Rendall is an uber-athlete, stand-up comedian and nonprofit executive who travels worldwide as a motivational speaker and participates in ultramarathons and Ironman triathlons.
Judson President Gene Crume addresses families and incoming students Friday at Anguleris Technologies in Elgin. He will speak about the impact Judson has had on the community in its 55 years.