Walden University marked a milestone as it celebrated its 50th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, at the Minneapolis Convention Center, with more than 600 graduates and 2,800 guests in attendance. The newest alumni are part of a graduating class of nearly 6,000 students representing 50 U.S. states and 65 countries who have completed their bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral or education specialist degree programs at Walden during the past six months. For graduates, family and friends who were unable to attend, Walden hosted a live webcast of the ceremony at www.WaldenU.edu.
"More than 70,000 graduates worldwide have earned their degrees from Walden since our very first commencement in 1972," said Dr. Cynthia Baum, president of Walden University. "Our most recent graduates, along with our alumni, current students, faculty and staff, are committed to a legacy of creating positive social change and making an impact in their communities both locally and internationally."
Paul Rusesabagina, founder of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, delivered the keynote speech. Rusesabagina was a hotel manager when more than 1,200 people sought refuge during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. His personal mission to teach the lessons of Rwanda has grown into an international movement of social justice and human rights activism.
The graduating class includes the first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate. Two alumni were also honored prior to the ceremony:
- V. Lynn Lysko, a 2012 Doctor of Education (Ed. D.) graduate from Modesto, Calif., who received the Frank Dilley Award for her doctoral study, An Analysis of Governance Policies and Practices in one School District Regarding English Learners. This award is bestowed upon a graduate whose doctoral study is judged as meeting the highest standards of academic excellence.
- Jonas F. Nguh, a 2011 Ph.D. in Public Health and 2013 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduate from Baltimore, Md., who received the Outstanding Alumni Award. This award recognizes an alumna or alumnus who exemplifies Walden’s mission to effect positive social change. He was cited for raising scholarship money for low-income students in underserved regions in Washington D.C., and for underrepresented ethnic groups in healthcare for workforce development initiatives.
The Walden University community gathers to honor its graduating students twice a year at summer and winter commencement ceremonies. An archived version of the webcast is available. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu/commencement.