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A Beautiful Day At Columbia College Chicago

Posted by sportsmaven on May 17, 2009

Crystal blue skies, not a cloud in sight.  Bright sunny day, so bright that a strong squint of the eyelids posed a constant reminder of sunglasses forgotten.  An unseasonably cool May morning, a Sunday morning.  The sign on the front of the building read UIC Pavillion, but inside, it was Columbia College Chicago all the way.


Today is May 17, 2009 and my step-daughter, Jessica Dreymann was attending her last official function as a Columbia College student, her graduation ceremony.  As of 10pm this evening, Jessi is officially a college graduate.  Actually, it was as of 2pm, but the celebration took us a few ticks  further on the face of the dial.

Jessi began her college career as a freshman at University of Iowa.  Eager to leave home for the first time, Jessi chose a school that was far enough from home to really experience being on her own, but close enough to come home if she really wanted.  Iowa was a learning experience in so many ways.

The first year of college is a dichotomy of life; you are a student, you are no longer under parental rule.  Iowa was a struggle in many ways for Jessi.  Normally an excellent student, with an impressive run at Glenbrook North High School in our hometown of Northbrook, IL, Jessi was really struggling in Iowa City.  In many ways, it was that first year of struggle that ultimately defined Jessi’s growth and development into the outstanding person she is today.  It is where she came of age, experiencing a giant leap in maturity and independence.  It is also the place that led her to today’s events at Columbia College Chicago, and it little did she know it was the most important experience of her life.

Jessi Dreymann graduated college today.  She graduated in 3 years.  She also graduated with honors.  She was able to accomplish every bit of this while working a full-time job.  Words can’t express how proud I am of Jessi’s accomplishments.  I only know one other person that has accomplished the same, and I’m married to her.  Yes, my wife and Jessi’s mom, Barb DeCesare, set the bar for today’s events.  I’m bursting with pride, inspiration, and joy for the accomplishment of both my girls.

Columbia College Chicago is a special place of higher education.  I noticed the minute I walked into the graduation ceremony at the UIC Pavillion.  From the smart, creative choice of excellent music to the guest speakers ability to provide short, but powerful words of wisdom, Columbia College’s dynamic, creative environment was on full display.  Distinguished honored speaker, author Ray Bradbury spoke stirringly about doing what you love and to love what you’re doing.  The spirit of love was the dominant theme of the day.

My highest compliments and regards to President Warrick L. Carter, Provost Steven Kapelke, and the various leaders of Columbia College for providing an environment for dynamic and creative learning, development of outstanding leaders, and most importantly, the mentoring of tomorrow’s change agents.

From create…change to Yes We Can, Columbia College Chicago ushered in two powerful phrases that define the spirit of Chicago, the destiny of higher education, and the intersection of the two into one magical morning.  After reading this post, you might be asking yourself  “What does this have to do with Chicago sports?”  Nothing at all.  It’s my daughter and I’m damn proud of her today, as I am every day and wanted to share that with my loyal and faithful audience.

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