Minneapolis—Aug. 3, 2011—Walden University celebrated the accomplishments of more than 4,700 graduates from 39 countries—from Afghanistan and Australia to Saudi Arabia and Serbia—at its 46th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, July 30. President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States, spoke to the graduates saluting their commitment to higher education while urging them to turn good intentions into positive change.
"There is still a staggering premium to having more education," said President Clinton. He highlighted the importance of an advanced degree by referencing a report that stated, "… unemployment among people with Ph.D.s and professional degrees is about 2%; among people with master's degrees, it's about 4%, and for those with a bachelor's degree, it's about 5 to 5.5%." President Clinton continued, "It still matters to develop your mind and to increase the range of things that you can do and to which you can contribute."
President Clinton also acknowledged the importance of positive social change for the new Walden graduates and encouraged them to make an impact in their communities and around the world. "Turn your good intentions into positive changes. You, because of your education, have acquired a heavy responsibility at work and as a citizen to help your fellow citizens."
At the Minneapolis ceremony, Walden honored President Clinton with a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, for his tireless commitment to social change around the world and his unwavering belief in the power individuals hold to make a difference. President Clinton serves as The Honorary Chancellor of Laureate International Universities, a global network of 57 campus-based and online accredited universities that includes Walden. In this role, he offers advice on social responsibility, youth leadership and increasing access to higher education.
"President Clinton's address is an inspiration for the entire Walden community and becomes a further call to action to strengthen our commitment to helping others and solving critical societal challenges," said Jonathan Kaplan, president of Walden University. "This was truly a profound day in the history of our university and a celebration of our legacy of service."
Social change has been at the heart of Walden University's mission since its founding in 1970, attracting a community of learners who share a common desire to make a difference. To ensure its students are equipped with the practical tools they need to be the leaders of tomorrow and make an impact in their communities locally and around the world, Walden provides a learning experience that encourages them to pursue and apply knowledge for the greater good. Walden's social change initiatives include The Walden Service Network, the annual Social Change Conference, Global Day of Service and Scholars of Change. To learn more about how the Walden community is making an impact, please visit www.WaldenU.edu/socialchange.