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For the 650 students who walked across the stage at the BOS Center Saturday to receive a diploma from the University of Illinois Springfield, graduation day had no shortage of anticipation and meaning.

However, for one graduate in particular, the day had more than its fair share of meaning for him and his family. Anthony Giordano received a bachelor's degree in accounting and business administration, with a minor in finance. While he has only completed two years at UIS – with more to come through the Graduate Public Service Internship Program – his life and that of his family is intertwined with the university.

There was already plenty of significance for the ceremony itself prior to Saturday; it would be the first time since 2019 that the school held a traditional graduation ceremony. The 2020 ceremony was canceled because of rthe COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 ceremony was held in small, individualized blocks instead of a full event.

Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney presided over the 2021 ceremonies which were affected by the still-raging pandemic at the time. On Saturday, she oversaw the event, her last as the head of the school before Janet Gooch takes over on June 30. She said her goal in the two years that she served was to make sure that the university's goals and mission didn't change despite a changing world. 

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 14, 2022. Read the entire article online.