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Columbia College-Crystal Lake and Columbia College-Elgin to hold joint commencement June 19

Columbia College-Crystal Lake and Columbia College-Elgin will hold a joint commencement ceremony and recognize the 149 students who have completed degree requirements during the 2009-2010 academic year. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the Spartan Events Center, Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, Ill.

The college will award 11 associate, 137 bachelor's and two master's degrees for the academic year 2009-2010. Dr. Brad Lookingbill, professor of history, will give the commencement address. Gary Oedewaldt, associate dean for Adult Higher Education, will confer the degrees.

"Graduation is the culmination of students' efforts to improve their lives through education," said Oedewaldt. "We are proud to honor their accomplishments."

Columbia College, a private, nonprofit institution, was founded in Missouri in 1851 as Christian Female College, the first women's college west of the Mississippi River to be chartered by a state legislature. The college changed its name to Columbia College in 1970 when it became coeducational.

Columbia College-Crystal Lake was established in 1989 as a degree completion program at McHenry County College, and in 2000, moved to the University Center in downtown Crystal Lake. The campus relocated to its current home at 446 N. Route 31 in 2008, while keeping its partnership with McHenry County College intact.

In 1997, Columbia College-Elgin was established as a degree completion program via an articulation agreement with Elgin Community College. Today, it is located in the University Center on the Elgin Community College campus and continues to serve adult learners in Elgin and surrounding areas.

Both campuses are part of the college's extended network of more than 30 Nationwide Campuses across the country.

Columbia College in Columbia, Mo., educates more than 28,000 students each year and has more than 64,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit