Words could not express the excitement of Galewood resident Sheree Williams as she walked across the stage for her master’s degree at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theatre in downtown Chicago.
Nearly 10 years ago, the university recognized its 65,000th graduate. Williams, 27, this month became the university’s 85,000th graduate, a feat she attained on Dec. 13, at the school’s 68th annual ceremony, at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.
“It’s certainly a milestone and amazing to think about all of those graduates who have come before me,” said Williams, 27, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history last year from Roosevelt.
Williams was the recipient of a scholarship to help her pursue studies and a future career in teaching from her community church, the Family Altar Baptist Church in Austin, where she has been active for most of her life.
“Sheree is an outstanding young woman who has done a lot to help the youth in our church,” said Jennie Petties, bishop at the church. “She is intelligent, respectful and is excellent with children.”
She also participates in a clothing drive with her church as they try to get the word out about their work and contribution to the community.
Williams, who transfered from another university, has flourished in her studies, making the dean’s list on more than one occasion at Roosevelt.
“I’ve loved Roosevelt so much. The class sizes are small and I’ve gotten to know my professors, who really take an interest in their students,” said Williams, adding that she wanted to become a teacher since her days attending summer school at the age of 13, and it was something that stuck with her.
“I always wanted to be a teacher, I remember my mom bought me a chalkboard when I was little, and I would take all my stuffed animals and teach them the stuff I learned in school,” Williams said.
She attended Lakeview High School and remembers the fun she had with cheerleading and softball. In her senior year, she took part in a program called “senior helper,” in which seniors, for one week, help freshmen navigate and get accustomed to the school.
Williams, the younger of two girls, watched what her older siblings went through and planned to get her bachelor’s degree and go on for her master’s degree. Both her parents attended college but didn’t finish.
Her mom told her don’t quit and never give up. Her father and her church family taught her to always do her best.
Upon graduation, Williams hopes to become a second-grade teacher. Long-term goals include getting her national certification as a teacher as well as a Ph.D. in education, in addition to possibly starting a child care center.