Roosevelt graduation speaker Ellie Kurt

Valparaiso native Ellie Kurt will give one of the Roosevelt University Commencement addresses on May 6. The honors student will talk about overcoming challenges, community and what we can learn from history.

At 12 years old, Kurt became chronically ill with symptoms that had no clear cause. She missed months of classes at a time in high school and became isolated, depressed and anxious.

After a gap year where she focused on her mental and physical health, she arrived at Roosevelt University. She dealt with near-daily panic attacks, a surgery for an ongoing health condition and hospitalization. After treatment, she was able to return to Roosevelt University for the fall semester.

Kurt says that the Disability Services team and her professors strongly supported her through her recovery. Kurt not only completed her degree, but thrived as a Roosevelt honors student.

Kurt served as a Newberry Library Undergraduate Fellow, interned at the Chicago History Museum, and completed an honors senior thesis. She emerged as a campus leader, becoming president of both the history honors council and the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Council.

Next year, Kurt will pursue a dual master’s in history and library science at Indiana University. She intends to earn her PhD in history and become a professor.