In a brief but meaningful ceremony at the Indiana University Kokomo’s Kresge Auditorium, faculty congratulated graduates of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute Kokomo as they complete one major milestone.

“To the graduates, I brag about you today because you’ve achieved another milestone in your life journey,” said Andrew Schaffer, associate dean of Purdue Polytechnic Statewide. “You now are college graduates.”

The ceremony, in which 17 of the 20 degree-receiving students of the technology school graduated, celebrated those who have committed hours to pursuing a bachelor’s and associate’s degree of science in the fields of computer and information technology, electrical engineering, engineering, mechanical engineering and organizational leadership and supervision.

The associate dean began his address to students by thanking family and friends for their support, while also congratulating students on their hard work.

But before going any further in his speech, the associate dean made note of how most graduation speeches are tailored to inspire students as they embark on a new journey. In Schaffer’s opinion, that’s a little backward, he said.

“Over all my years of listening to these speeches it occurred to me that most of the speakers try to do the same thing, and that is inspire the graduates on their next steps,” Schaffer said. “Well, I have to tell you, I think that message is backward.

"Graduates, it is you who have inspired us,” he said.

Their dedication and commitment to excelling in their education, while some simultaneously held part-time jobs, should inspire those who have supported them over the last two to four years.

“Graduates, you are indeed an inspiration to others,” Schaffer added. “You may not think about it but your example is very positive and very motivational for your family members – younger and older – who might have to continue their education.”

The Purdue School of Technology opened on July 1, 1964. The school was renamed the College of Technology in January 2005, but then became what it is today, the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in May 2015.

Statewide, the Purdue Polytechnic Institute enrolls more than 1,000 students in eight cities across Indiana.

Cara Ball can be reached at 765-454-8565, or on Twitter @CaraKTVideo.

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Digital Manager, Video Reporter

Cara is the digital manager and videographer reporter at the Kokomo Tribune.