This May, Carl Sandburg College will host its 50th annual Commencement, and the impact Sandburg has had during that time on the students and communities it serves is nothing short of remarkable.
Since the first graduates crossed the stage to accept their diplomas, nearly 20,000 others have followed in their footsteps. They have been the nurses who take care of your friends and family in the hospital, mechanics who fixed your car, police officers who keep your neighborhood safe as well as hosts of other ways our graduates touch your life every day. But our web of alumni stretches well beyond the 3,000 square miles of our district, with Sandburg graduates scattered across the country and all over the globe. There’s even a Sandburg alumnus whose job includes sending objects into outer space. I learned firsthand the effect a Sandburg education can have on a person’s life when I attended and graduated from here. I continue to be reminded every day in my duties as president that Carl Sandburg College transforms lives.
The ways we teach and our students learn have certainly changed over the course of Carl Sandburg College’s half-century of existence. Students who once could only attend classes on campus can now study from the comfort of their home with a few clicks of a mouse. Textbooks are no longer a necessity for every class because the internet offers an endless amount of information from which to research. The desks and chairs in several of our classrooms have been exchanged for sofas and café tables. The pens and papers of old can instead be replaced with smartphones and fingertips.
Can you imagine explaining to someone 50 years ago that one day those opportunities would not only be possible but commonplace in the world of higher education? What once seemed unbelievable is now widely accepted. Who knows what other changes will occur in education over the course of the next 50 years? One thing, though, is certain: Carl Sandburg College will change with it to ensure that others are able to walk across that stage as college graduates.
Dr. Lori L. Sundberg, President
Carl Sandburg College