A total of 805 students received their degrees. Emanuel made special note of those who earned education degrees and will teach in the public schools.
He said others now have the skills to fill the jobs that employers like United and Motorola want to bring to the city. Emanuel also urged the graduates to give back to something "greater than yourself."
"Have a seriousness of purpose. Find wisdom in your failures. And if we give ourselves to a greater cause we can all be richer for achieving things," Emanuel said.
The school awarded Emanuel an honorary degree for his dedication to advancing educational excellence in Chicago.