Pardeep Singh Kaleka will deliver the keynote address to Carroll University’s Class of 2021 at our commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Kaleka is the executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, published author of “The Gifts of Our Wounds,” and a clinician specializing in trauma-informed care, treating survivors and perpetrators of assault, abuse and acts of violence. Carroll University’s Class of 2021 commencement takes place Saturday, May 8 at 10:30 a.m. on the lawn in front of Main Hall on East Avenue. During the ceremony, Kaleka will receive an honorary doctorate.
“This year Carroll University is focusing on one of the tenets of our ethos, stewardship. Pardeep is the embodiment of stewardship, and the ideal person to share a message of leadership, hope, and going into the world as good stewards beyond college life,” said Dr. Cindy Gnadinger, president of Carroll University. “We are ecstatic to welcome Pardeep to our campus and grateful he has agreed to share his story with us.”
A native of Punjab, India, Kaleka grew up in Milwaukee and served as a police officer and educator in the inner city of Milwaukee until the shooting at the Sikh Temple in 2012, where a white supremacist took the lives of seven parishioners, one of them being his father and temple founder. In the aftermath, fighting through his own grief, Kaleka felt called to help the community heal and to live out his passion of transformational love. His work today is to encourage stewardship of healthy social and spiritual fabrics that commit to nurturing the village and fostering genuine connections between individuals and their communities so that hate and hate crimes are less likely to occur.
“I have always valued being of service to not only those I can relate to, but to everybody, and especially to those whom I share differences with rather than similarities,” said Kaleka. “It is only then we can begin to break down silos and encourage people to listen for understanding rather than judgment when speaking to people with different points of view. We must move as a country to respecting and building relationships with all groups of people, and not only the groups we individually identify with.”
Carroll University will host its 2021 commencement in person and will require face coverings and practice physical distancing. Each graduate will receive two guest passes that will indicate a live-streaming location on campus for their guests to report to on commencement day. Only graduates, faculty and the platform party will be seated on Main Lawn.
Approximately 815 students will receive diplomas at Carroll University’s Commencement ceremonies, including 589 expected to earn bachelor’s degrees, 145 expected to earn master’s degrees, and 81 expected to earn doctor of physical therapy degrees.