Chicago, IL,
16:53 PM

Student Commencement Speakers Selected

Governors State University continues its tradition of recognizing students who epitomize achievement and excellence in education by choosing graduates Sandra Chavez and Sarah Hirsch to give the student Commencement addresses at its 46th Commencement Saturday, May 20.

Sandra Chavez, known as Filly, will speak at the morning ceremony celebrating graduates of the Colleges of Business, Education, and Health and Human Services. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, Ms. Chavez, of Onarga, Illinois, is the first in her family to go to college. She will earn her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with honors, a degree which will serve as a stepping stone toward her ultimate goal of a degree in Clinical Psychology specializing in Child Neuropsychology.

Ms. Chavez obtained her associates degree from Kankakee Community College before transferring to GSU. She cites her parents and three children as her motivation along with “the countless Mexican immigrants who have risked their lives in pursuit of an education.”

Sarah Hirsch, of Munster, Indiana, will speak at the evening ceremony which celebrates graduates of the College of Arts and Science. Graduating with a Master of Arts in English, Ms. Hirsch served as Editor-in-Chief of Reconstructed, GSU’s literary journal. She has also worked as a Supplemental Instructor for the First-Year Writing program.

Ms. Hirsch completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at GSU after a break in her education to travel and start family. She says, “My husband and two sons have been a source of continuous support throughout my studies. The opportunity to speak at Commencement will be rewarding for my entire family.”

Both ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 20, at the Tinley Park Convention Center at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and are ticketed events.


Governors State University serves 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students with degree programs that prepare them for success in business, industry, healthcare, the arts and education. As a state university, GSU is committed to providing high-quality, accessible, and responsible higher education opportunities. GSU is located 35 miles south of Chicago in University Park, IL and offers the most affordable undergraduate tuition and fees in Chicagoland. GSU is committed to embracing diversity and academic excellence.