Congressman William Enyart

Representing the 12th District of Illinois
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‘Be Prepared,’ Rep. Enyart Challenges First Lindenwood-Belleville Grads

May 20, 2013
Press Release

“Be prepared,” was the challenge given by U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart to graduates at Lindenwood University- Belleville’s first commencement ceremonies on Sunday.

Approximately 500 graduates earned diplomas at the school’s first commencement ceremonies since Lindenwood founded a Belleville campus on the site of the former Belleville West High School nearly 10 years ago.

Speaking before an overflow crowd in the university’s gymnasium, Enyart noted it was a day of firsts.  “It is the first graduation ceremony to be conducted at Lindenwood University- Belleville.  For most of you, it is your first university degree.  For some of you, it is the first person in your family graduating from college.  For me, it is the first time to ever give a university graduation speech,” Enyart said.  

Lindenwood University founded its Belleville campus in late 2003, and has gradually increased programming and investments in its campus.   It has now grown into a full-service four-year liberal arts university that has transformed an aging high school into a bustling college campus.
Saying it was an honor to give the first-ever commencement address at the university, Enyart told graduates to be visionary.

“As you leave Lindenwood University- Belleville today, think about those people who saw an abandoned high school and turned it into a university of which to be proud,” Enyart said.  “Every day in this great nation, we face challenges like those overcome by the citizens of Belleville with a vision.”

Enyart said that by earning a college degree, graduates were taking the first step in being prepared for life’s challenges.  “Now set the next goal.  Be prepared to succeed.  Take the risk to succeed.  Take on those hard assignments.  Savor this moment, for you have prepared yourself today for that next challenge.”

Enyart was awarded an honorary degree as part of Sunday’s commencement ceremonies.