VINCENNES, Ind. – Vincennes University held its 214th Commencement on
May 4 at the P.E. Complex.
The Class of 2019 included graduates from 84 Indiana counties, 33
states, and 4 countries, representing all VU sites. The class totaled
more than 1,884 eligible members.
About 591 members walked in the ceremony attended by an at-capacity
crowd. Graduates receiving associate degrees or certificates walked
across the stage wearing blue graduation gowns, while graduates
earning a bachelor’s degree were clad in black gowns.
VU President Dr. Charles Johnson delivered the commencement address.
He urged graduates to think critically and shared what he often hears
about VU when traveling throughout Indiana, the United States, and internationally.
“I hear Vincennes University is probably the best kept secret in
terms of education and maybe in the Midwest,” he said.
“I am here to tell you the secret is out. More and more we are coming
up on the radar of key employers and state leaders. We have
individuals who are coming to us to get quality education to help them
with their workforce. More than two dozen companies in Indiana and
throughout the United States work directly with Vincennes University
on work-based learning program to help them with their talent
pipeline. We’re talking about companies like Cummins, Caterpillar,
Toyota, Subaru, Jasper Engines, Republic Airlines, John Deere, Kimball
International, and many others who choose Vincennes University as
their partner in workforce development.”
Johnson also conveyed what VU graduates shared in a recent national
alumni satisfaction survey conducted by Gallup.
“Overwhelmingly graduates said Vincennes University made an impact
positively on their lives, 93 percent said they’d earn their associate
degree again and over 90 percent said they’d come back to Vincennes
University to do that,” Johnson said.
“We think that says Vincennes University is delivering on its quality
education promise and that we think it provides long-term value by
helping you be successful in your life.”
In the survey, VU scored higher than other schools in Indiana and
outpaced the national averages in several areas.
“Our Vincennes University alumni say someone made a difference in
their experience whether it was a faculty member, a classmate, a staff
person or someone in the lunch line,” Johnson said. “That speaks
volumes about the dedication of the people that we have here at
Vincennes University and their commitment to helping you be
successful. Overwhelmingly, Vincennes University alumni said Vincennes
University gave them not only the foundation academically, but the
confidence to be successful in their next pursuits in life.”
Johnson began his address by asking graduates to give a round of
applause to family members and supporters who have stood by them. He
also asked the graduates to thank with applause the faculty and staff
who have helped make VU a place where students succeed.
Dr. Laura Treanor, provost and vice president of Instructional
Services, presided over the commencement exercises. Chad Beaman,
president of the Faculty Senate, convened the ceremony. Degrees were
presented by College Deans Joan Puckett, College of Humanities; Dr.
Nicole Shankle, Early College; Michelle Cummins, College of Health
Science and Human Performance; Curt Coffman, College of Science,
Engineering, and Mathematics; Ty Freed, College of Technology; Anna
Miller, College of Business and Public Service; and Dr. Cynthia Ragle,
College of Social Science, Performing Arts, and Communication.
Phil Rath, vice president for Financial Services and Government
Relations, gave the welcome address. David Tucker, vice president of
Workforce Development and Community Services, welcomed the graduates
into the Alumni Association.
Bryce Mattox, president of the Student Government Association, led
the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the closing statement. Jayna Carie
sang the National Anthem. The VU Campus Police Cadet Honor Guard
presented and retired the Colors.