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Graduates from Across the Country Converge on San Diego
Nearly 1,600 graduates and their guests are expected for commencement ceremony

From across the nation, graduates will travel to San Diego on Sunday, October 4 to celebrate their successes at Ashford University’s fall 2015 commencement ceremony. Almost 1,600 graduating students, accompanied by their friends and family members, are expected to pack the Viejas Arena, located at 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, for the ceremony. The commencement is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.

Damen Lopez has been tapped to deliver the keynote address at the commencement ceremony. Lopez, a San Diego resident, is the founder of the No Excuses University Network of Schools, an organization that helps students attend college by promoting a comprehensive college readiness model starting in pre-kindergarten. In his keynote address, Lopez will inspire Ashford’s graduates by discussing the importance of making bold choices in life.

The ceremony will also feature a speech from distinguished Ashford graduate Matthew Bambrick. A U.S. Army veteran, Bambrick earned his bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Ashford in 2008. Since graduating, he has gone on to earn two master’s degrees, become a finalist for the 2012 Presidential Management Fellowship program, joined Ashford’s faculty as an online adjunct instructor, and was the first alumnus to be named to Ashford’s Faculty Senate Board as an associate faculty senator. He was named Ashford’s Outstanding Alum of the Month for September.

One of this year’s graduates will also get a special moment in the spotlight during the commencement ceremony. Tracy “Destini” Taylor will open the ceremony with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She was the winner of a nationwide online competition among Ashford graduates to earn the honor of singing the national anthem. After she is finished singing, Taylor, who is coming to commencement from her home in Indiana, will join her fellow graduates as they cross the stage and receive their diplomas. She earned her bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Ashford.

More than 99 percent of Ashford’s student body attends class online. The commencement weekend will represent the first time that the majority of the students will meet their fellow students and their instructors outside of the online environment.

To give the graduates an additional opportunity to interact face-to-face with their peers and teachers, Ashford will host a campus celebration at the University’s San Diego location, 8620 Spectrum Center Boulevard. At the event, graduates will be invited to tour the Ashford campus, attend meet-and-greets with University faculty, participate in a military appreciation event, have a picture taken with Ashford president Dr. Richard Pattenaude, and more.


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.