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The San Diego Convention Center in the heart of downtown set the scene for Ashford University’s fall 2014 graduation ceremonies on Sunday, October 5. More than 1,200 graduates from across the country participated in the two commencement ceremonies, held for the first time in San Diego.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday, October 4, with a full day of events, ranging from faculty meet-and-greets to a patriotic military appreciation recognition ceremony where each military graduate received an honorary stole.
On Sunday, excitement was in the air as 11,850 attendees, including graduates and their guests, converged on the Convention Center. From check-in through the exit processional, the spirit was jubilant and emotional with a strong sense of accomplishment all around. Concourse E roared with cheers and applause as each graduate’s name was called. Family and friends congratulated their loved ones with hugs and tears of joy.
Giavonia Fields, a Shreveport, La. resident who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, opened the ceremonies with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Fields was the winner of a nationwide online competition among Ashford University graduates to earn the honor of singing the national anthem.
“At first, I was really nervous, but I said a little prayer, went on, and just sang,” she said, adding that her Air Force training helped her keep her cool.
In special honor of Ashford University’s military graduates, who comprise nearly 25 percent of the fall 2014 graduating class, decorated military leader Rear. Adm. Bruce L. Gillingham delivered the keynote address. He is a San Diego native.
California State Assembly Member, District 76, Rocky Chavez, addressed the morning ceremony. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer addressed the afternoon ceremony.
Kyle Baucum from Scottsbluff, Neb., who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management, was named the winner of the Forbes School of Business at Ashford University Senior Project Scholarship.
Ashford University’s fall 2014 graduates hail from all 50 states and 10 countries. The fall 2014 class includes 9,239 total graduates, including 2,867 military graduates.
“Congratulations to all of our graduates on this special day for them and the entire university,” said Dr. Richard Pattenaude, Ashford University president and CEO.
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 online degree programs, while the Clinton, Iowa campus offers bachelor’s programs. Whether on campus or online, Ashford students enjoy the same supportive community. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu, www.facebook.com/ashforduniversity, www.twitter.com/AshfordU, or call Shari Winet, Vice President of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.