'Surreal:' MPD Chief Morales receives honorary degree alongside Carroll University graduates

WAUKESHA -- They finally made it! Most college students can't wait for graduation day -- and on Saturday, May 11, students from Carroll University saw their dreams become a reality -- but they weren't the only ones recognized for their accomplishments.

In true Carroll University fashion, a monumental moment was marked by a melodic sound.

Kaylee Gransee

"Bagpipers lead the kids in when they come as freshmen, so this is completing their epic journey, taking them out," said Sue Pierman, Carroll University.

On Saturday, the class of 2019 reminisced about their time on campus and looked ahead to their next phase in life.

"It's kind of surreal," said Kaylee Gransee, who is receiving her doctorate in physical therapy. "Allowed us to experience growth in our personal lives, and provide us with the opportunities to have fun and learn at the same time. We're pursuing our dreams to really help our community, and really give back to everyone else."

Carroll University graduation

Carroll University graduation

Their commencement was graced by someone special. Carroll alumnus Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales (class of 1992) provided the keynote address with the theme of ethos.

"Absolutely honored," said Chief Morales. "These are moments of joy, family and community you will forever remember.

Chief Morales celebrated the students' accomplishments while reminding them to embody leadership.

Carroll University graduation

Carroll University graduation

"Respect, honor, service and integrity," said Chief Morales.  "Education is a foundation to be built upon. Be a leader to the next generation. Use the foundation at Carroll to achieve your goals over the coming years. You will find success."

Meanwhile, Chief Morales was also recognized. He received an honorary degree.

"It is my great pleasure to award you with a degree... in recognition of your dedication, of your great work on behalf of our community," said Carroll University President Dr. Cindy Gnadinger.

After he received his degree, so did hundreds of others. With each passing name, they can now call themselves graduates.

"Their future is very bright and very exciting," said David and Laurie, whose son Ian is graduating. "I'm happy for all of them."