The first graduation ceremony for Wright College dates back to 1935 when there was a class of Ten. Since then Wright has celebrated the graduation of tens of thousands who have gone on to have a great impact on Chicago. I was fortunate to deliver the commencement speech on May 15, 1993 at that last ceremony at the original Wright Campus on Austin Avenue. Commencement is a celebration of many achievements and this class of 484 graduates in the Class of 2007 has had a tremendous impact on Wright which will make the College a far better place for future students.

Eli’s Marc Schulman, Chairman of the Wright College Advisory Board, with Wright President Charles Guengerich, City Colleges Vice Chancellor Ken Gotsch and Distinguished Alumni Speaker, John W. Fountain, Professor of Journalism at the University of llanos at Urbana Champaign.

John Fountain has been a reporter for The Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post, and a national correspondent for The New York Times. Fountain is also the author of “True Vine: A Young Black Man’s Journey of Faith, Hope, and Clarity.”

Fountain graduated from Providence-St. Mel in 1978 and came to Wright College after he could not afford the tuition to return to the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he had studied for one year. At the age of 22, a husband and father of two children, Fountain states that his studies at Wright gave him the path to self-sufficiency and empowerment. After graduating from Wright in 1984, Fountain received both bachelor’s and master’s digress at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Fountain stayed at the reception for over two hours to meet every student who wished to talk with him, a real testament to his commitment to the Wright students of today.


Wright College President Charles Guengerich greets the graduates and their families that filled the Wright College Gym.

Keyla Torres, PTK and SGA President, as well as Student Commencement Speaker, is congratulated by Dean of Student Service Romell Murden on all her accomplishments at Wright. One highlight was the opening of the SGA Cafe, a student run coffee and dessert kiosk that gives 100% of its proceeds to student scholarships thanks to donations from Stewart’s Coffee and Eli’s Cheesecake.

Celebrating the success of the Commencement Ceremony and the achievements of the Class of 2007 are Wright Vice President Lynn Walker and Maria Llopiz-Rosas Landa, Director of the Student Success Center


President Charles Guengerich congratulates Distinguished Service Professor Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow who delivered the Faculty Address at the Commencement.

This Commencement marked the end of Professor Chaplik-Aleskow’s remarkable career at the City Colleges of Chicago. An expert in human communications skills, a published writer and public speaker and was the founding General Manager of WYCC-TV. Among her PBS television credits is a production on “Missing Children” which aired nationally, the documentary “70 Years Of Being Wright” on the history of Wright College and“This Is Your College” on the City Colleges of Chicago.

Elynne’s passion and office will be missed at Wright but we are most certain that she will continue to make many important contributions to education in Cicago.