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Hanna and Jordan Nuss are counting down the days until May 4 when they will don caps and gowns, march to “Pomp and Circumstance,” and receive their master’s degrees together at Ashford University’s commencement ceremony. This will be the couple’s second Ashford University graduation, having received their bachelor’s degrees from Ashford in 2012.
A new mom and assistant director at a local assisted living community, 25-year-old Hanna Nuss will be graduating with a master’s in health care administration while Jordan Nuss, a 25-year-old insurance service administrator, will be receiving his master’s in organizational management, with a supply chain management specialization.
The duo enrolled online at Ashford University in 2013, a year after their graduation from the school’s traditional, on-campus program in Clinton, Iowa. Although Hanna was the first to pursue her undergraduate degree at Ashford, while at the same time playing college volleyball, she persuaded her then-boyfriend to transfer his community college coursework and baseball skills to Ashford. After two years of courtship, the couple received their diplomas and married in 2012.
“I had a great experience at Ashford and wanted to share it with Jordan,” said Hanna. “I think the fact that we successfully completed our primary educational goals together pushed us to simultaneously pursue graduate degrees at our alma mater.”
While pursuing an on-campus education was difficult at times, both agree that graduate courses brought on a new type of challenge. In addition to now being married, they were expecting their first child and studying under the same roof while juggling careers, family life, and community commitments. Although each was great at motivating the other, the couple admits their differing study habits led them to separate workspaces. While Jordan sought out a sturdy desk and quiet surroundings, Hanna opted for homework on the couch with her favorite music playing in the background.
“These past two years have been the most demanding and rewarding of my life,” said Hanna. “I was four months pregnant when I enrolled in the graduate program and was still in school when Emerie was born. She is now 10 months old and I am graduating with my master’s degree from the same school that led me to Jordan. To top it all off, I can already thank my education for a recent promotion. Graduation is going to be extra special for us.”
Jordan adds that although the balance was difficult at times, the couple leaned on one another for support and celebrated academic accomplishments along the way.
“I will never forget the night Hanna went into labor,” said Jordan. “I had a final paper due that evening and ended up typing it up in the hospital hallway while Hanna paced up and down with contractions, cheering me on. I completed it just three hours before my baby girl was born. It was quite special.”
The couple plans to celebrate commencement with their daughter, parents, and siblings. Hanna’s future sister-in-law will also be receiving her Ashford University diploma, while her younger brother, a former Ashford University graduate and athlete, will be in the stands.
An estimated 1,300 students from across the country and several foreign countries will travel to the Ashford University campus in Clinton, Iowa for commencement weekend, with more than 6,000 guests joining them for support.
“So much has happened in our lives since Jordan and I met,” said Hanna. “It will be a proud and joyous moment when we receive our diplomas and celebrate our accomplishments. I look forward to taking that graduation photo with Jordan and Emerie and one day telling her about the time her dad and I gave it all we had for a good education and for a brighter future.”
About Ashford University
Achievement belongs to all of us at Ashford University. By offering a traditional college campus as well as online degree programs, Ashford meets the diverse needs of individuals pursuing integrity in their lives and in their communities. Students may earn an associates, bachelor’s, or master’s degree online, while campus students in Clinton, Iowa may earn a bachelor’s degree. Whether on campus or online, Ashford students enjoy the same supportive community. For more information, please visit http://www.ashford.edu or call Shari Winet, Vice President of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.