Priyanka Deo
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield held its 53rd annual Commencement ceremony in three parts on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, 2024, at the Sangamon Auditorium. Out of the 1,625 UIS students who were eligible to graduate, 1,051 participated in the ceremony.

UIS Chancellor Janet Gooch presided over her second commencement ceremony, welcoming thousands of guests. She congratulated the graduates on their success and starting a new chapter in their lives.

“Graduates, this is your day to reflect on the work you put in these past several years, and to be inspired to keep working hard to create a prosperous future,” Gooch said. “I am confident that each of you—with your own skills, aspirations, contributions and achievements—will leave a mark on this world, and it’s such an honor to know that UIS helped play a part in your future success.”

UIS Commencement 2024 video highlights

The student commencement speaker was Daisy Solorzano who spoke about resilience and the importance of carving a successful path.

She graduated with a master’s degree in public administration and is a first-generation college and master’s student and graduate. During her pre-recorded speech, Solorzano talked about growth and self-discovery.

“Today is a testament to our resilience and determined spirit to move forward. Let us go forth from this moment, inspired by the thought that our dreams actually aren’t out of reach,” Solorzano said. “May we all navigate through the uncharted waters of life with grace, purpose and unwavering optimism.”

Speakers at each ceremony varied but included  University of Illinois President Tim Killeen, Vice President for Academic Affairs Nick Jones, Trustee Tami Craig Schilling, UIS Provost Brandon Schwab and UIS Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jamarco Clark.

Dignitaries on stage varied during the ceremonies but included faculty grand marshal  Pamela Salela, an associate professor in library administration; Kyle Ingram, UIS student representative to the Board of Trustees; Vickie Cook, vice chancellor for enrollment and retention management; Jeff Lorber, vice chancellor for advancement and senior vice president of the University of Illinois Foundation; Kenneth Kriz, interim vice chancellor for finance and administration; and Jeff Stein, secretary to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Photos and more videos are available at the commencement website.