Triton College students ready for future
Rosemont-Triton's Class of 2012 graduation ceremony celebrates at the Akoo Theater in Rosemont. The nearly 500 graduates received their diplomas amid cheers from family friends and loved ones. | Joe Cyganowski ~ For Sun Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:20AM
More than 400 Triton College students made it to the finish line this year, earning an associate’s degree.
Members of Triton College’s graduating class of 2012 proudly entered the Akoo Theater in Rosemont on May 19. They were smiling from ear to ear in their black caps and gowns.
One of those people was Erskine Boddy, 22, of Maywood.
Although he worked hard, going to summer school, to graduate within a year and-a-half, since December he’s been in and out of the hospital, suffering from a rare form of cancer.
At one point he had to have open-heart surgery and go through chemotherapy.
“I was only using 50 percent of my lung capacity,” he said. “A lot was happening fast.”
“It was hard on my family,” Boddy said. “I don’t party, drink and I don’t smoke. To go through this was like ‘Wow!’”
He had a good relationship with his teacher and his final class was on-line. He also received support from family and friends.
So far the cancer hasn’t come back, but he will have to report regularly to the hospital to make sure.
“I finished my last treatment April 16 and I was able to get my strength up,” he said.
With that strength, Boddy walked across the stage to get his diploma. He received his associate’s degree in Engineering Technology and plans to get a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or civil engineering.
Boddy said graduating has helped him breathe a little easier.
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” he said. “I can take a deep breath because the whole time I was going to school when I was sick I didn’t know what was going to happen the next day. It just feels good.”
“It felt good to be able to be healthy again and healthy enough to attend (graduation),” he said. “After all of that I’m still here and I’m able to walk across the stage and smile after months and months of pain, suffering and crying.”
Patricia Granados, president of Triton College, spoke at the graduation about how far the graduates have come and what lies ahead in the future.
She said whatever road they take she believes they are prepared for it.
“Students, beyond today, no matter where you’ve come from or where your journey leads you, you will always be part of Triton College. You will possess an extremely valuable gift, a quality education and I know you will use it well.”