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Ashford University Announces Winner of National Competition to Sing the National Anthem at Upcoming Commencement Ceremony
Ashford commencement ceremony scheduled for October 4 in San Diego

Nearly 1,600 graduates from across the country are expected to participate in Ashford University’s commencement ceremony to be held at San Diego’s Viejas Arena on Sunday, Oct. 4. One of those graduates has been selected for the special honor of opening the ceremony with the national anthem.

Tracy “Destini” Taylor, an Indiana resident, has been named the winner of a nationwide competition to sing the national anthem at the commencement ceremony. Taylor will open the ceremony with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and then will join her fellow graduates as they walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. Taylor has earned her bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Ashford.

All graduating students were invited to submit audition videos demonstrating their ability to sing the national anthem. Submitted videos were evaluated by the Ashford University Commencement Committee for clarity, musicality, melody, intervals, and ease in relating to the audience. The top selections were then posted to the Ashford University Facebook page, where students, alumni, and guests voted for their favorite. Taylor received the most votes.

Taylor will be traveling to San Diego for her performance and to celebrate the completion of her degree. The commencement ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Viejas Arena, located at 5500 Canyon Crest Drive.

Watch Tracy “Destini” Taylor’s winning national anthem audition video here:


About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs online, allowing students to balance life by providing the flexibility to do school work anywhere, anytime. For more information, please visit,,, or call Shari Winet, Vice President of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x11601.