Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences commencement, Chicago, May 30, 2014
University of Illinois President Robert Easter gave the 2014 commencement address at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in late May. In his remarks to the graduates of the class of 2014, the president reflected on his career path and the changing landscape of agriculture.
"For more than 150 years the food and agriculture system in America was built around people with my background. Young men and women who grew up on the farm, earned a degree and spent their lives working somewhere in the food and agriculture system."
You are in a privileged position – you have attended one of the best urban agricultural high schools in the country. You have experience and knowledge that very few graduating from Chicago Public Schools this spring will have.
I urge you – in fact I beg of you – consider a future in the food and agricultural system…. The world desperately needs you….the jobs for graduates with a college degree are there--- and the salaries are very good."
Before and after the ceremony, the president met with graduates. He congratulated two students who are recipients of the Aaron Easter Memorial Scholarship, given annually by Eli's Cheescake to outstanding graduates who attend the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Counsumer and Environmental Sciences in Urbana, where President Easter served as dean for eight years. (l-r: Tabitha Lundy, Easter, Korianna Kluss-Klekamp, Marc Schulman of Eli's Cheesecake)
Established in 1985, the school offers a collage preparatory curriculum that offers Chicago students the opportunity to study agriculture, including animal science, agricultural mechanics, food science, horticulture and landscape design, and agricultural finance. Students are encouraged to participate in FAA student leadership programs to develop skills and to investigate agricultural careers.
Photos of the event courtesy of Eli's Cheesecake.