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Parkland College 2024 Commencement Ceremony, May 9
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Parkland College 2024 Commencement Ceremony, May 9

Retired Parkland President Dr. Thomas R. Ramage will deliver the keynote address during Parkland College's 2024 Commencement Exercise.

Retired Parkland College President Dr. Thomas R. Ramage will deliver the keynote address during Parkland College's 2024 Commencement Exercise, Thursday, May 9, at 8 p.m. at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Besides being a retired community college president, Ramage is a husband, father, and proud grandfather. He dedicated his professional career to Parkland College, where he served as the institution’s fifth president from 2007 until his retirement in 2022.  

Ramage earned a master’s degree in education and human development with a specialization in educational technology leadership from The George Washington University and a Doctorate of Education with a specialization in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University.

His professional journey brought him to Parkland College in July 1998 as chair of the newly created Distance and Virtual Learning Department, responsible for developing and administering Parkland’s online course delivery systems and policies. He quickly rose through the ranks, with a promotion to associate vice president in 2001 and vice president and chief academic officer in 2003. In 2007, he assumed his role as president.

Ramage was a leader among community college presidents at the state and national levels, serving on national boards and commissions and leading the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents in 2017. He was also a committed community leader, dedicating his time to serving on boards such as the United Way of Champaign County, Champaign County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, among others.  

Parkland College's 57th Commencement will also include a welcome from college administration and the Board of Trustees. The Parkland College Foundation will present the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Robert "Bo" Chaney, firefighter and children's author. Honorary Associate Degrees will be presented posthumously to Scott Bennett, former Illinois State Senator, and Avery R. May, a Parkland Ford ASSET student who passed away in December 2023.

Student presenters will include Shannon D. Voss, tassel turner Tia K. Probst, and student trustee Jaden R. Campbell.

The ceremony will also feature music selections by the Parkland College Wind Ensemble and an invocation and benediction by Pastor Sabin Lubaga of Stone Creek Church in Urbana.

This event will be in-person and livestreamed via YouTube and Facebook Live. Visit parkland.edu/commencement for more information.

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