WATCH NOW: Carthage College graduates process, receive degrees on Saturday | Local News

Hundreds of graduates received their diplomas in Kenosha on Saturday, as Carthage College hosted a commencement procession through a series of campus buildings culminating with presentation of degrees.

It was part of graduation weekend at the college, which included initial events on Friday and continues with additional graduates in a commencement procession on Sunday. Carthage expects to confer degrees on some 600 graduates.

Commencement speakers, including Kenosha-native Natalie Lall, the winner of the Distinguished Senior Award, gave their remarks during commencement weekend events on Friday.

Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, music and flashing multi-colored lights led students and their families through a “red carpet, paparazzi” experience, explained Carthage Director of Content Development and Strategy Traci Parker.

Use of the graduation procession, which began last year due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, is a much speedier and more festive commencement than traditional ceremonies.

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“It went so well and it was such a unique and fun idea, we decided to do it again this year,” Parker said.

Students had multiple photo opportunities throughout the procession, and even walked through a hall of screens playing congratulatory speeches from various faculty and staff.

Cristian Decorah, a first-generation graduate, is graduating with a masters in Sports Management. He said he preferred the new style to his last commencement ceremony, in 2018.

“This is excellent,” Decorah said. “This is an absolute blast.”

Angie Peterson, director of advancement and alumni programs, said they kept the procession this year during initial planning to play it safe.

“Not knowing what COVID would be this year, we kept it the same,” Peterson said.

Peterson said she felt the procession had its benefits for graduates.

“It almost feels like you’re waiting in line at Disney Land,” Peterson said. “I like that families get to do it together, which is great.”

Adam Koenig, Carthage executive director of the student experience, agreed.

“It’s a really personal experience; it’s powerful,” Koenig said. “Often for our students their first day on campus is with their parents. Why can’t their last day be the same?”

Caitlyn Coghlan, a nursing student, said she was excited to be graduating.

“It’s crazy, I can’t believe it’s done. I feel like I just started,” Coghlan said.

Coghlan, followed by her parents, siblings and other family, spoke positively about the procession-style commencement.

“I think it’s great because it’s more personable, I can spend it with my family.”

IN PHOTOS: Donald Driver visits Carthage College

Driving home a point

Donald Driver speaks with football players and coaches at Carthage College on Friday. Driver also visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, as well as football players and coaches as part of the college’s Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner and Racine County resident Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, “Dancing with the Stars” champion dancer and a New York Times best-selling author. More photos from his visit can be found online at kenoshanews.com.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver, back left, speaks with students from the Urban Teacher Preparation Program at Carthage College on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver, center, speaks with students from the Urban Teacher Preparation Program Alexis Vega, left, and Matthew Santos-Bartczyszyn at Carthage College on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver speaks to students in sports management at Cartahge College on Friday Feb. 4, 2022. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver, left, autographs a photograph for Rocco LaMacchia Jr., director of admissions and financial aid, at Carthage College on Friday Feb. 4, 2022. LaMacchia is in the photograph where Driver performed a “Lambeau Leap” into the crowd during a game. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver speaks with football players and coaches at Carthage College on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver speaks to students in sports management at Cartahge College on Friday Feb. 4, 2022. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver speaks to students in sports management at Cartahge College on Friday Feb. 4, 2022. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver, left, speaks with students from the Urban Teacher Preparation Program at Carthage College on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver, back left, speaks with students from the Urban Teacher Preparation Program at Carthage College on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

DONALD DRIVER AT CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Donald Driver, back left, speaks with Carthage students from left, Alexis Vega, Matthew Santos-Bartczyszyn, Ryan Skipper and Kelly Sibert, at the college on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Driver visited with the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, the sports management club, and football players and coaches as part of the Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series. The Spotlight on Sports Lecture Series highlights the achievements of world-class athletes and sports organizations. Past speakers include Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former NBA star and current Miami Heat coach Caron Butler, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Vice President for Business Operations Raven Jemison, former Chicago Blackhawks CEO and President John McDonough, and Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold. Driver is the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl champion, Dancing with the Stars champion, and a New York Times Best Selling Author.



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