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2024 Commencement

Congratulations Class of 2024!

Commencement 2024 was a joyful celebration of our graduates, attended by hundreds of family members and friends at the Goodman Theatre in downtown Chicago, on Monday, May 9.

Highlights included the awarding of honorary degrees to Michelle Sarche, PhD and IL Governor J.B. Pritzker, and the inaugural Erikson Founders Alumni Leadership Award to Meghan Hillegass, MSECE, ‘02 and remarks from our student speaker, Lorraine Rua-Figueroa, MSECE with triple endorsement, ‘24. You can watch a recording of the ceremony below and read a blog about the event here.

Congratulations, Class of 2024!

Please stay connected through our Alumni efforts

Watch the Ceremony

Honorary Degree Recipients

The event promises to be inspiring and unique—with two remarkable people receiving honorary degrees.

Michelle Sarche, PhD

Michelle Sarche, PhD

Colorado School of Public Health
Professor, Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health
Department of Community & Behavioral Health Indian Center (SOM)

Dr. Sarche is a clinical psychologist and professor in the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Colorado School of Public Health. Michelle is a citizen of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe and has partnered with Native American communities in research related to children’s development for over 25 years. Her work centers equity and highlights excellence in Tribal early childhood programs. Current projects include the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center, the Center for Indigenous Research Collaborations and Learning in Home Visiting, the Community-Driven Indigenous Research, Cultural Strengths, and Leadership to Advance Equity in Drug Use Outcomes Center, and two randomized controlled trials of a culturally adapted alcohol-exposed pregnancy prevention program. Through the Native Children’s Research Exchange, Michelle has served as a mentor to numerous early career scholars and conference convener for a national network of Indigenous and allied researchers. Michelle is an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow, ZERO TO THREE Board member, 2018 National Indian Head Start Association Child Advocate of the Year, and appointee to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Addressing the Long-Term Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families. Michelle acknowledges that none of this work would be possible without the close collaboration of academic and community partners across the country, over many years.

Governor JB Pritzker

Governor JB Pritzker

Illinois Governor

Governor JB Pritzker was sworn in as the 43rd Governor of Illinois on Jan. 14, 2019. Since taking office, he has accomplished one of the most ambitious and consequential policy agendas in state history.

The governor won bipartisan passage for Rebuild Illinois, the largest investment in state history to upgrade roads, bridges, rail, broadband, and schools. He took bold action to put state government back on the side of working families by creating jobs, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, protecting reproductive rights, making university and community college education more affordable, and advancing equal pay for women.

Before becoming governor, Pritzker founded 1871, the non-profit small business incubator in Chicago. Since its creation, Chicago has been named one of the top ten technology startup hubs in the world, and 1871 was named the best incubator in the world. As governor, he continues to expand support for new business creation throughout the state and cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of small businesses while incentivizing job creation. Since 2019, annual new business startups in Illinois have grown by nearly 70%. Illinois now has the largest growth in small business creation among the largest states in the nation, beating states like California, Texas, Florida and New York.

Governor Pritzker and his wife, MK, have been married for more than 25 years, and they are the proud parents of daughter, Teddi, and son, Don.

Stay Connected

Graduates, stay connected with Erikson through our Alumni efforts