JJC Spring Commencement Ceremony at Lewis University May 13

The 95th Joliet Junior College Spring Commencement Ceremony will be held Friday, May 13, at 6 p.m. in the Lewis University Fieldhouse, One University Parkway in Romeoville.

This is the second JJC ceremony to be held at Lewis University. Due to overcrowding in the gym and increasing numbers of graduates, the college approved the venue change to Lewis University at its November 2010 Board of Trustees meeting.

Featured speakers at the event will be Student Speaker Lindsey Kelderhouse and Faculty Speaker Dr. James Ethridge. Student Lauren Raino will receive the Student Service Recognition Award.

Dr. Ethridge began teaching at JJC in 1972, and throughout his career has been instrumental in expanding and improving the agricultural, horticultural and veterinary medical technology department at JJC. Key accomplishments during Dr. Ethridge’s time at JJC include assisting in the development of the Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center, launching JJC’s veterinary medical technology program, and planning and developing the college’s LEED-registered greenhouse, the first of its kind at a community college in the nation.

Dr. Ethridge has also brought an international dimension to the program through his work experience in Germany, the Netherlands, Botswana, Malaysia and Thailand. These opportunities allowed him to expand and enhance the horticulture curriculum at JJC, and he also helped place several horticulture students in international internships.

Though he will be retiring from JJC this year, Dr. Ethridge plans to stay active in his field in his new career at a greenhouse in Tinley Park. He is also looking forward to travelling and spending more time with his family.

Lindsey Kelderhouse, of Frankfort, plans to transfer to Ball State University to study speech pathology in the fall. In addition to maintaining a 3.7 GPA, she has actively participated in extracurricular activities at JJC, including membership in the JJC Honors Program, Emerging Leaders Program, and Student Ambassador Program.

Watch Lindsey talk about the ceremony >>

She is also a co-president of the college’s chapter of the international honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, through which she has supported outreach efforts for Relay for Life, World Food Day, Earth Day, and a campus-wide book drive. Outside of JJC, Kelderhouse works at Trinity Inc. as an at-home instructor for autistic children, something she is contemplating turning into a career.

Lauren Raino of Plainfield is this year’s Student Service Recognition Award recipient. She was nominated by two faculty members and has been actively involved in Phi Theta Kappa, Emerging Leaders, All College Relay for Life, and was instrumental in organizing the book drive at JJC that has been ongoing since fall. Raino will receive a $300 cash award and will be recognized at the ceremony.

Last year, Raino was one of 30 PTK students nationwide that recently received a Phi Theta Kappa Leaders of Promise Scholarship, worth $1,000, to further her associate degree studies.

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