Speakers challenge graduates to be champions for children

At Erikson’s 48th commencement ceremony, 65 graduates received their master’s degrees in child development or early childhood education, and three received their doctoral degrees in child development.

Honorary doctorates were awarded to Robert Emde, M.D., professor of psychiatry emeritus at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Virginia Bobins, M.Ed. ’91, a Chicago civic and philanthropic leader, retired child life and infant specialist, and Erikson life trustee and former board chair.

The commencement was the first for Erikson’s current board chair, Michelle Collins.

“I find myself at Erikson, a trustee for an unexpected 17 years, in total and complete support of all of you who will try to change the world for the better, one child at a time,” Collins told graduates. “It is my sincerest wish that you do just that.”

[img_caption src=”https://www.erikson.edu/wp-content/uploads/Grad15.jpg” link= align=”right” caption= “Bobins, Nagle, Emde, and Huey” alt=”photo of Bobins, Nagle, Emde, and Huey”]

This year’s graduates will go on to an array of diverse careers including:

  • Therapeutic preschool teacher
  • Child life specialist at a children’s hospital
  • Developmental therapists
  • Directors of Head Start and other preschool programs

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Emde has two wishes for graduates

Emde, a psychiatrist and a giant in the field of infant mental health for many years, had two wishes for graduates.

“The first is to value continuing education, in order to keep up with the advancing science that can help while applying your critical thinking,” he said. “The second wish is to value reflective supervision, as you have learned at Erikson, and to continue it.”

He also told graduates to remember how satisfying working in the field can be, saying they are the ones who will “be helping children to make coherent and meaningful stories of their lives.”

Video of Robert Emde’s remarks at Erikson’s commencement ceremony. Watch on YouTube.

Bobins reflects on Erikson education

“I’m thrilled to accept an honorary doctorate degree from Erikson,” Bobins said. As an alumna herself, she told graduates she knew how hard they had worked.

“Erikson does more than teach knowledge about child development,” she said. “Earning my degree was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.”

Video of Virginia Bobins’s remarks at Erikson’s commencement ceremony. Watch on YouTube.

Graduates have great responsibility, Huey says

Retiring Erikson trustee Bruce Huey also spoke to graduates.

“Every child needs a champion,” he said. “Will you be that champion? You have great responsibility and I’m counting on you to make Erikson proud.”

Video of Bruce Huey’s remarks at Erikson’s commencement ceremony. Watch on YouTube.