Ashford Plans its First Fall Graduation Ceremony

Ashford University will make history when it holds its first full-fledged fall graduation ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 17.

            In the past, the University has held a reception for its December graduates, but students had to wait until May if they wanted to don caps and gowns to receive their diplomas. 

            “With our increase in enrollment, we felt it was necessary to have two graduation ceremonies,” said AU President James Chitwood. “Online students from across the United State are expected to come to Clinton to graduate in person.” In addition to its undergraduate students and students in its master’s level education programs, Ashford will graduate the first classes in its accelerated MBA and Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management programs.

            Commencement exercises are set for 2 p.m. in the Durgin Educational Center with Joel Kaczinski, Vice President and Real Estate Loan Officer at Clinton National Bank, as the keynote speaker.

             A lifelong resident of Clinton, Kaczinski has been employed at the bank for the past 18 years.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mount St. Clare College (MSC) in 1993 and is an MBA candidate during Ashford University’s December graduation.  Kaczinski is a member of the Mount St. Clare College/Ashford University Local Alumni Board, Prince of Peace School Board, Jesus Christ Prince of Peace Parish Finance Committee, Clinton Junior Baseball Board and Information Referral & Assistance Services Board.  He’s also a Cub Scout leader, Boy Scout volunteer and baseball coach.  In the past, Kaczinski has been involved with the Clinton Jaycees, Camanche Kiwanis and United Way.  He has been married to Cynthia (also a graduate of MSC) for 15 years and they are the parents of two sons, Jacob and Caleb.

Before the graduation ceremony, a hooding ceremony will be held for students receiving their master’s degrees in the University’s chapel at 12:30 p.m.

             Founded in 1918, Ashford University is a coeducational institution regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, with programs in education, business, accounting, criminal and social justice, computer animation and graphic design, and other areas.  The University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a range of student activities and athletics, at its Clinton campus.  Online degree programs are available in education, organizational management, business administration, and psychology.  The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable on-campus and online programs, with tuition fees among the lowest in the U.S. compared to other private institutionsIts tagline is: “Higher Education Made Affordable”SM.  For more information, please visit