Basketball Legend Bill Walton to Speak at Ashford University Graduation Ceremonies

Ashford University Plans Five MAy Graduation Ceremonies

Basketball legend Bill Walton will give the keynote address during Ashford University’s spring graduation ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, May 8 and 9. 

Walton will deliver the address at all five ceremonies during Ashford University’s graduation weekend. Due to the anticipated number of students planning to receive their diplomas in Clinton, Iowa, three ceremonies will be held on Saturday and two on Sunday. Seating is limited and admission to the graduation events will be by ticket only. 

“This is going to be the largest graduation weekend in our history,” said Dr. Jane McAuliffe, president of Ashford University. “The more than 1,300 students who plan to come to Clinton for graduation is more than double the number we had last May.”

McAuliffe noted that the five ceremonies are expected to attract more than 6,000 graduates, friends and family members to the Ashford University campus. “Our students will come from all over the country to celebrate their educational experience with Ashford and we are honored to have someone like Bill Walton as the featured speaker at our spring graduation ceremonies,” McAuliffe said. 

Walton played basketball at UCLA in 1971-1974 and was a member of two NCAA championship teams. At UCLA, Walton was a scholar-athlete who also earned Academic All-American honors three years in a row.  He graduated with honors, receiving a B.A. in History.

Walton played professional basketball after college, and was a member of the Portland Trailblazers’ championship team in 1977. He earned another championship title with the Boston Celtics in 1986, and also played with the San Diego Clippers. He was honored with numerous awards in the NBA, including the NBA's Most Valuable Player, the NBA All-Star Team, and the NBA Playoff's MVP.

He began his broadcasting career in 1990 as an analyst for Prime Ticket Network. Walton has worked for CBS Sports, NBC, and was the lead analyst for ESPN/ABC's coverage of the NBA. He is also a regular contributor to,, ESPN The Magazine, and ESPN Radio.

For his television broadcasting work, Walton has been nominated for several Emmy awards and in 2001 won an Emmy for best live sports television broadcast.  Most recently, in 2009, Walton was named one of the top 50 broadcasters of all time by the American Sportscasters Association.

Walton currently lives in his hometown of San Diego with his wife Lori.  They are the parents of four sons: Adam, Nathan, Luke and Chris.

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools ( The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, director of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.