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Illinois College celebrates 188th Commencement


Approximately 260 bachelor’s degrees will be awarded to members of the Class of 2022. Commencement exercises are scheduled to take place in Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center at 1 p.m.

On Sunday, May 15, Illinois College celebrates its 188th commencement. Approximately 260 bachelor’s degrees will be awarded to members of the Class of 2022. Commencement exercises are scheduled to take place in the Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center at 1 p.m. The ceremony will be available via livestream.

Lauren Sgambelluri ’22 will speak during the ceremony as this year’s senior class representative. Sgambelluri majored in biology, with a concentration in ecology, and chemistry as well as a minor in art. She was chosen as the 2021 Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, successfully completed the IC Scholars Honors Program, was a member of the Environmentalists of Illinois College and was vice president of Sigma Phi Epsilon literary society. She has also participated in student-faculty research, BreakAways and marine biology courses that included travel to the Florida Keys. Sgambelluri plans to pursue an advanced degree in marine biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

During the commencement ceremony, Illinois College will recognize Rev. Dr. John S. Kay H '09 with the degree Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa. Kay has been an active member in the Jacksonville community over the last two decades. He spent 18 years as pastor at First Presbyterian Church where he was deeply involved in the community, serving as a member of the Jacksonville Rotary Club, Jacksonville Literary Union and Jacksonville Ministerial Fellowship. He recently served as interim pastor at Community Presbyterian Church in Mt. Prospect. 

In 2007, Kay joined the Illinois College Board of Trustees. He has chaired and served on various committees during his tenure and is currently a member of the Governance Committee, the Enrollment Management Committee and the Committee on Academics and Student Success. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary bachelor’s degree and in 2010 he received the Friend of the College Award for his enthusiastic support of IC. 

Kay received his bachelor’s degree from Belhaven College, a master of divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a doctorate degree in ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary. Ordained in 1976, Kay has served three congregations in central Illinois as pastor and several more in an interim role since his retirement. He has also worked with the PCUSA denomination as a consultant for the Church Financial Campaign Service.

The College will host several additional events during commencement weekend. The Illinois College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s first and most distinguished academic honor society, will conduct installation ceremonies for new members at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, in Dunham Auditorium located in Crispin Hall. The Nurse Pinning Ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 13, in Rammelkamp Chapel and will be available via livestream. Following the pinning ceremony, the Alumni Association Awards Banquet will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Cummings Dining Hall. 

The popular Osage Orange Festival is scheduled from Saturday, May 14, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Hall parking lot. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Entertainment will include live music from Exit 52 Band, inflatables, face painting, games and fun activities for all ages. A variety of the area’s favorite food trucks, including Leo’s on Wheels, Foodie Machine and Los Rancheros, will provide a delicious variety of festive food and drink for purchase, including beer and wine options.

Chaplain and Coordinator of Interfaith and Inclusion Initiatives Tim McGee will speak at the Baccalaureate Service, at 10 a.m. Sunday morning in Rammelkamp Chapel. The service will feature the IC music department. 

For more information about commencement weekend or to RSVP for a particular event, please visit the 2022 commencement schedule.

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217.245.3000 for more information.

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