Awards Given at Ashford University's May Graduation
Olympic Gymnast Addresses Ashford University's Graduating Class
“I was lucky to achieve a lifelong dream,” Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug told a record number of graduates during Ashford University’s graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 9.
“Although I am known because of one moment in Olympic Games history, the real story occurred before and after that one vault. In the same way that your degree is a reflection of all of the hard work you put into achieving it and all the opportunities it will open up for you, my Olympic moment was only a final reflection of a lot of hard work,” said Strug. “In the end, what really mattered after the years of sweat, pain, and loneliness, as well as a multitude of injuries, failures and many more second place finishes than I would care to remember, was my wholehearted commitment to my dreams.”
A total of 1,702 students, including 66 on-campus students and 1,636 online students, graduated from Ashford University during two ceremonies held on the AU campus May 9. Twenty-five associate's, 1,275 bachelor's and 402 master's degrees were awarded. The May 2009 graduating class is the largest in the university's 90-year history.
During the ceremonies, Dr. Jane McAuliffe, president of Ashford University, read a letter from Iowa Governor Chet Culver and Lt. Governor Patty Judge that said, in part, “Although today marks the end of your collegiate career, it also marks the beginning of the next chapter in your life. This is a significant milestone that doesn’t come easily. However, because of the dedication, willpower and strength you have shown, we are very proud of your accomplishment.”
During the morning graduation ceremony, the University presented special student awards to:
§ Brian Cummings, Clinton, Iowa, the Accounting Student Award, sponsored by the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants to recognize the top accounting graduate;
§ Michael Hansen, Clinton, Iowa, the Business Department’s Scholars Award, given to the highest ranking graduate in business;
§ Hilary Clark, Clinton, Iowa, the James L. Mooney Social Science Award, which recognizes the Social Science graduate with the highest grade point average;
§ Holly Maskell, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the Joan Walsh Richeson Award, given to the liberal arts major who best personifies the values of a liberal arts education and
§ Candi Kuehl, Morrison, Illinois, the Alex Esquivel Promising Teacher Award, given to a teacher education graduate who shows exceptional potential as an educator.
The following Faculty Excellence Awards were presented:
§ Sr. William McCue, the Excellence in Teaching Award, given to an individual whose command of their discipline, teaching methodologies, communication skills, concern for student performance, and commitment to the learning process exemplifies the teacher/mentor model;
§ Marty McAuliffe and Kathy Sole, the Excellence in Online Teaching Award, given to a superior online teacher which is exemplified by an individual whose command of their discipline, teaching methodologies, communication skills, concern for student performance, and commitment to the learning process exemplifies the teacher/mentor model;
§ Rick Reed, the Excellence in Teaching – Campus Accelerated Award, given to a superior accelerated classroom teacher which is exemplified by an individual whose command of their discipline, teaching methodologies, communication skills, concern for student performance, and commitment to the learning process exemplifies the teacher/mentor mode;
§ Kristin Abraham, the Excellence in Research or Creative Endeavors Award, given to an individual whose research or creative endeavors have been particularly successful and are recognized locally, regionally or nationally;
§ Terri Bousselot, the Excellence in Public Service Award, given to an individual who has brought credit to Ashford University through successful efforts in applying the content or skills of their academic disciplines in service to the community, state, or nation in areas of public interest and
§ Diane Cornilsen, the Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Technology Award, given to recognize innovative faculty efforts to integrate technology, teaching and learning.
About Ashford University
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 institutions. Its tagline is: “Higher Education Made Affordable”SM. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu or call Shari Rodriguez, Director of Public Relations, at 858/513-9240 x2513.