Class of 2020 Commencement | Judson University Christian College

Judson University Celebrates 194 Graduates During Commencement for Class of 2020

(ELGIN, IL – Sept. 21, 2020) Judson University celebrated 194 graduates during the 83rd commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Sept. 19. Judson’s spring commencement was delayed until Homecoming weekend following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Stewart at CommencementBusiness Leader Dr. K. Shelette Stewart give the keynote address for the 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. ceremonies which were held in Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin). Each service was streamed on Facebook for family members who were unable to attend. Dr. Stewart encouraged graduates at each ceremony to be intentional about establishing their legacies as they begin their careers.

“A legacy is something that transforms others when you are gone. You will leave a legacy either by default or design. I ask you to be intentional and strategic to craft the narrative around your themes,” Dr. Stewart said.

Her advice comes after more than 20 years of leadership experience as a business practitioner and academician with leading organizations including Harvard Business School, The Coca-Cola Company and BellSouth Corporation/ AT&T in strategic business planning, business development and marketing. Dr. Stewart is a Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Program Specialist and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration. A graduate of Harvard University, she is the founder and principal of Stewart Consulting, LLC, a strategic planning firm.

Dr. Stewart is a highly sought-after international speaker who has served as the keynote speaker for many leading organizations including: Harvard Business School, Texas Instruments, The Coca-Cola Company, Women’s Foodservice Forum, Women Economic Forum, and Yunnan University in China. She has also appeared as a guest on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Daystar Television Network – Marcus & Joni Lamb Show, and a host of other TV and podcast programs. Dr. Stewart is the author of the award-winning book, “Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life.”

Dr. Stewart told the graduates that she has built her legacy around her walk with God. As graduates of Judson University, she said, you have Judson’s motto of “Christ, light in the world” instilled in you.

Dr. Stewart advised the graduates to follow three principles when building their legacy. Begin from within as you contemplate your purpose in the world and in God’s work, she said. Refuse to rob others of the gifts that you would bring others by fully pursuing your goals. Finally, have no limits, she said, noting that “with God, all things are possible.” She concluded by encouraging the grades to commit to living lives of significance as children of God.

During the 8 a.m. commencement ceremony, Judson celebrated the 46 graduates from Judson’s Traditional Undergraduate program in Architecture and Business as well as 10 graduates from the Master of Architecture program. Of that number of students within these programs, 44 graduates returned to campus to participate in the 8 a.m. ceremony. Each student was allowed to invite two guests, who watched the broadcast from another building to maintain appropriate physical distancing.

At the 10 a.m. commencement, Judson graduated 42 students from the Traditional Undergraduate programs in Christian Ministries, Communication Studies, Education, English, Exercise & Sport Science, History, Music, Psychology, Science-Mathematics and Worship Arts Departments. Another eight students received certificates of completion from Judson’s RISE Program. Another eight students were honored after earning a Doctorate of Education. Within this commencement, 41 students participated in commencement.


Celebrating the Graduates

At the 1:30 p.m. commencement program, of the 79 students who graduated from Judson’s Adult Professional Studies program, 34 attended the ceremony. Within Judson’s adult program, 12 students earned an associate degree and 29 earned a bachelor’s degree. Thirty-eight students earned their Master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Human Services Administration, Organizational Leadership and MBA.


Special Recognitions

Daniel PerlmanDuring the 8 a.m. ceremony, Judson recognized Businessman David Perlman with the President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement for his study of insects and butterflies. Perlman and his family own D & M Perlman Fine Jewelry in Dundee, which is the largest fine jewelry and gift store in the Fox Valley, and one of the largest in Illinois.

Perlman’s fascination with insects began when he was a child. His son Marc also became interested in insects as a child. What started out as a shared interest and hobby grew over the years into a serious passion. David and Marc were introduced to a group of professional Entomologists from the University of Florida, who offered them the opportunity to participate on guided field trips to various tropical rainforests to act as field research assistants. David and Marc participated in six of these annual trips starting in 1992 and have accumulated a total of six months in tropical jungles in Ecuador, Brazil, French Guiana, and Malaysia. The Perlmans gained significant knowledge and experience on these trips, and in 1999, they began their own research project. With joint academic affiliations from Judson University and the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, the Perlmans undertook a butterfly and moth species survey at the Tinalandia Nature Reserve in Western Ecuador with a project that continued for 10 years.

The Perlmans’ most recent Entomological endeavor has been a series of butterfly breeding experiments in which aberrant wing patterns were deliberately induced. This project was conducted in Elgin and encompassed approximately 10 years of experimentation. Subsequently, they published two significant papers detailing their results and establishing a baseline for future experimentation. The Perlman collection currently consists of approximately 50,000 specimens, with a portion of these intended for eventual establishment of a research collection at Judson.

Tony at CommencementDuring the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony, Judson awarded School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanderswith an honorary doctor of letters. The award recognizes Superintendent Sanders dedication and commitment to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.

Superintendent Sanders runs the day-to-day operations of School District U-46, a place he has called home since 2007. Mr. Sanders oversees the implementation of all board and district policies and procedures as well as alignment of resources to all districtwide initiatives and improvement plans for the state’s second-largest school district. He works in close collaboration with an administrative staff that manages a balanced district budget of over $550 million, and he has lobbied relentlessly in Springfield for more equitable state education funding, successfully helping develop a more equitable state education funding formula that was signed into law in 2017.

Superintendent Sanders works with staff and community members to set specific measurable goals for the district’s Strategic Plan, which calls for ensuring all students gain the experiences they need to graduate from School District U-46 prepared to compete in a global society. He’s proud of the district’s many achievements, from high schools ranked among the best in the country, to a thriving dual-language program and expanding early childhood educational opportunities.

Superintendent Sanders serves as the Past Chair of the Large Countywide and Suburban Consortium, a network of some of the nation's most successful district leaders. He and his wife, Schelli, live in Elgin. Their children, Jack and Lexie, both graduated from U-46 and have attended Judson University at different times. Lexie came to Judson as a freshman this spring to study Music Performance.

Photo Highlights from the 2020 Commencement

ccd 20190919-JUGrad_General__KDS9989-Pano__

Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World