GSU student Ramona Hernandez selected as a 2022 commencement singer
Graduate Profile: Ramona Hernandez
Ramona Hernandez, an Interdisciplinary Studies major, says singing The National Anthem at commencement is an honor.
After graduating from high school, Hernandez earned her associate in arts at Richard J. Daley College. She wanted to continue her education at Governors State University (GSU), but “with life’s transitions” including working in the corporate world and raising a daughter, her education was put on hold. Now, as she prepares to graduate, she also is ready to fulfill a lifelong dream of singing the Star-Spangled Banner.
GSU Newsroom: What brought you to GSU?
Hernandez: I found my enthusiasm for school again after talking with people in GSU’s Registrar’s office. It's been a long journey for me and not having my degree has always been a thorn in my side. I never took the time to get it done since I was blessed to have a job. But eventually, I said, “I've got to get this degree."
GSU Newsroom: What role does music play in your life and who are your influences?
Hernandez: I've been a member of the Chicago Mass Choir for 15 years. I also sing in the choir at my church, Fellowship Chicago, 4545 S. Princeton Ave. I just love music, period. I just love to sing. My favorite singers include Yolanda Adams, CeCe Winans, Anita Baker, Gladys Knight and, of course, the legendary queen of soul Aretha Franklin. I love all the soulful singers.
I always wanted to sing the Star-Spangled Banner - perhaps at a baseball game - but I never had the opportunity. It's an honor to be able to sing that song at commencement.
GSU Newsroom: How did it feel to be selected to sing?
Hernandez: Being selected to sing for my GSU peers when they receive their diplomas is such a humbling feeling.
And I'm not nervous about it. If I feel the song and have a passion about it, it just comes out. I’m so happy. This is something that’s a God moment. It just fell right in place.