August 15, 2018
Purdue University Global, one of the largest personalized online degree systems in public higher education, welcomed 250 graduates on Saturday (Aug. 11) to the Indiana Convention Center, recognizing them for their academic achievements during the University’s first graduation ceremony in Indiana since it was acquired by Purdue.
Purdue Global became Indiana’s newest public institution of higher education earlier this year, when Purdue officially acquired Kaplan University, expanding Purdue’s land-grant mission by providing access to higher education for tens of millions of working adults.
Betty Vandenbosch, chancellor of Purdue University Global, conferred the degrees upon graduates who traveled from as far away as Bermuda and Germany to attend the ceremony.
“Graduating from university is one of the most important milestones of your life,” Vandenbosch said to the graduates. “It wasn’t easy. Long nights studying. So many sacrifices trying to juggle many competing responsibilities — family, work, life — to make ends meet and schedules work. Today, you’re crossing one finish line and setting your sights on starting the next stage of your life’s journey.”
Kent Kramer, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, delivered the commencement address, calling on graduates to do three things as they move forward: keep learning, always encourage others and take the time to celebrate.
“Never underestimate the importance of learning,” Kramer said. “You have reached this milestone in learning, but don’t let that spark of curiosity burn out. You have an incredible foundation. Keep learning. Read, listen, engage, try new things, expand and grow your opportunities to gain knowledge.”
Dignitaries attending the ceremony included Kathy Parkison, a member of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and chair of the commission’s Student Success and Completion Committee, and Natalie Carroll, chair of the Purdue University Senate and professor in the departments of Agriculture Science Education and Communication, and Agriculture and Biological Engineering.
Graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctoral degrees, were awarded from the schools of Business and Information Technology, Education, Health Sciences, Nursing, Open College, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Concord Law School.