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At Erikson’s 44th annual commencement ceremony, held in May at The Field Museum, 73 graduates received master’s degrees in child development or early childhood education and four received doctoral degrees.
Eugene García, Ph.D., vice president for education partnerships at Arizona State University and one of the nation’s most eminent researchers in the teaching of language and bilingual language development, delivered a rousing commencement address. As García shared stories of his family and childhood, he emphasized passion and wisdom as essential qualities for early childhood professionals. Echoing one of his father’s lessons, García reminded the graduates that an education “is something no one can take away.”
Susan Buffett, philanthropist and chair of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, also was honored for her national advocacy for quality care in early childhood. Commending her work, Erikson president Samuel J. Meisels said, “She understands that improving education is an effort that involves the entire community. This includes gaining local support for new programs, giving teachers opportunities to better their practice, and helping children and families both in and out of the classroom.”