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51st commencement the last under IPFW structure

It is the end of an era at IPFW, and now the class of 2018 will hold a significant distinction in the schools history. Wednesday afternoon's 51st commencement ceremony is the last under the Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne name.

It was not lost on these graduates that they are part of an important piece of the school's history.

The music was the same. The traditions were the same. The feelings were the same.

"[I was] scared we were going to trip for a second," graduate Jessica Camarena said.

"Very relieved. Very excited," graduate Nicole Breauchy said.

Most everyone at the IFPW commencement at the Memorial Coliseum knew this ceremony was not the same as others.

"While our institution will change, and have new names come this fall," IPFW Chancellor Ronald Elsenbaumer said. "One thing that will not change is our commitment to providing an outstanding education."

Officially on July 1 IPFW will become PFW-- Purdue University Fort Wayne, and with it a realignment of curriculum.

Health sciences programs will remain under IU's management, but everything else plus some, like a new music school, will be under Purdue's management.

"I just realized this is the last time its IPFW. It's kind of crazy," Camarena said.

More than 1,700 people got their diplomas during IPFW's last commencement. Three faculty members were present who were also present during the school's very first graduation.

"Pretty honored. It's a piece of history we get to take with us," graduate Andrea Funk said.

A member of the IU Board of Trustees spoke at the ceremony, and he may have said it best. The word 'commence' means to start something new. This year it's not just the graduates starting a new chapter.


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