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Anderson Resident Wins Nationwide Competition to Sing National Anthem at Ashford University Commencement Ceremony on October 2

Thousands of Ashford University online graduates and guests from across the country will be at the University’s commencement ceremony on October 2. Only one will perform the national anthem.

Kaliah Ballon, earning a master’s degree in education, is the winner of a nationwide Ashford University competition to open the graduation ceremony with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Students submitted audition videos, which were evaluated by the Ashford University Commencement Committee for clarity, musicality, melody, intervals, and ease in relating to the audience. Top selections were posted to the Ashford University Facebook page, where students, alumni, and guests voted for their favorite.

Ballon, an online student, will be traveling to San Diego, Calif. with her family to attend the Ashford commencement ceremony. The graduation ceremony will be at 10 a.m. at the Viejas Center in San Diego.

Here is Kaliah Ballon’s winning audition video:



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 Marianne Perez, Media Relations Manager, at 858.513.9240 x11636.