VU celebrates Class of 2023 at Spring Commencement

VU celebrates Class of 2023 at Spring Commencement

A male VU graduate wearing cap and gown holds up a Mexican flag outside of P.E. Complex.

May 01, 2023

Vincennes University is celebrating its Spring 2023 graduates during multiple Commencement ceremonies. Commencement is the time to celebrate the achievements of Trailblazers and recognize the diligence and personal drive that led them to graduation.

Dr. Chuck Johnson & a 2023 graduate
Dr. Chuck Johnson & a 2023 graduate

Thousands of proud family members and smiling graduates filled a packed P.E. Complex for the Vincennes Campus Spring Commencement on Saturday, April 29.

VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson greeted the Class of 2023, and VU Provost Dr. Laura Treanor presided over the commencement exercises.

VU is awarding 2,065 bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and certificates this spring. Graduates represent 77 of Indiana’s 92 counties, 25 states, and nine countries.

During his greeting to graduates, Johnson referenced late Boston Pops orchestra conductor Arthur Fiedler, who was fond of saying, “He who rests, rots.” Johnson added his corollary. He shared, “He who quits learning withers on the vine.”

Johnson told the 2023 graduates, “Learning is going to be central to your life, as it has never been before from this day forward. It may not be formal education. It may not be sitting in a classroom or working in a lab, but learning is going to sustain you throughout the rest of your lives and your careers. It’s going to allow you to maintain relevance. It’s going to allow you to stay on top of things and make you an indispensable person.”

He also encouraged the graduates to embody VU’s motto of “Learn In Order To Serve” by committing to serve their communities and families.

Trustee Don Villwock & Dr. Tim Brown
Trustee Don Villwock & Dr. Tim Brown

Amid the day’s festivities, VU honored two extraordinary public servants who have had a powerful impact on the state of Indiana and its communities.

An honorary doctorate is the most significant honor a university can bestow on an individual.

The VU Board of Trustees and Chair John Stachura bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Public Service upon former Indiana lawmakers Dr. Tim Brown and Luke Kenley. Brown is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, District 41, and Kenley, is a former member of the Indiana State Senate, District 20.

Dr. Luke Kenley & student Lauryn Unversaw
Dr. Luke Kenley & student Lauryn Unversaw

The commencement featured 2023 graduate and student speaker Elaina Boston of Columbus, Indiana. Boston, who earned an associate degree in Child Development, challenged her fellow graduates to think of their lives as “one grand opportunity.”

“We are the Class of 2023,” she said. “We graduate in a century when our world is facing enormous challenges but also at a time when the opportunities created by those challenges have never been greater. You are someone important. You are someone meaningful. Someone worthwhile. You are a person with the ability to make change, save lives, and live life to the fullest. Take nothing for granted, as this life is one big adventure.”

This year’s Commencement festivities include ceremonies at other sites and locations. American Sign Language and Deaf Studies in Indianapolis and Aviation Technology Center in Indianapolis campuses will hold ceremonies on Friday, May 5. VU Jasper will host its commencement on Saturday, May 6.

VU is incredibly proud of its newest graduating Trailblazers.

See a recording of Vincennes Campus Commencement at the Vincennes University YouTube channel:

Spring Commencement Photo Gallery

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