there is a need for you — highly trained professionals with the tools and compassion to meet challenges and improve lives.”
By: Lisa Riley
All the hard work that began in January when University commencement committees started preparing for upcoming ceremonies has come to an exhilarating end with the Washington, D.C. Campus ceremony on October 26. Featuring 135 graduates, the ceremony capped off a season that went into full swing in June when the SoCal Campus graduated the first TCSPP class of 2018.
The Chicago Campus came next with the largest class of nearly 500, and this year we celebrated a first when our Clinical Psy.D. Program at The Chicago School at Xavier University of Louisiana awarded its very first cohort of 21 students their master’s degrees!
The more than 800 graduates across all campuses, including Online, counted among them future behavioral health practitioners who will make their mark in the corporate world or with international NGOs. There will be therapists in private practice; counselors; school psychologists and many more who will all use what they have learned to make an impact in a world that seems to be increasingly in need of mental and behavioral health practitioners.
In Southern California, graduates heard from renowned international mental illness thought leader Dr. Elyn Saks, who while struggling with schizophrenia is also a professor of Law, Psychology and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California.
“In families, in schools, in businesses and in government, there is a need for you — ” TCSPP President Michele Nealon, Psy.D. told the Chicago Campus graduates after honorary degree recipient Wayne Messmer, Ph.D. toasted them with words of perseverance and inspiration. “highly trained professionals with the tools and compassion to meet challenges and improve lives.”
Honorary degree recipient Bertha Holliday, Ph.D., community psychologist, former senior director APA Ethnic Minority Affairs and lifelong civil rights advocate, celebrated our Washington, D.C., graduates. Dr. Holliday, insisting that The Chicago School “has well-armed you with the necessary tools for enhancing social justice throughout the world,” encouraged students to use what they’ve gotten to “master the ethos, tactics and strategies of social justice and change.”
Indeed, the suggestion to graduates to commit more rigorously to The Chicago School’s mission of service was like a clarion call across the University. At every ceremony, students heard from honorary degree recipients, distinguished alumni and student speakers alike, who in their own way, expressed their belief that one way to bring about needed change in the world is through service to others.
As we close out another exciting and wonderful commencement season, we look forward to the next with certain knowledge that we are graduating agents of change.