Cyberspace Graduates from 49 U.S. States Converge on Clinton, Iowa for Ashford University Commencement on Oct. 22

Largest all online student commencement ceremony boosts regional economy

More than 1,000 students from 49 U.S. states will converge on Clinton for the Ashford University commencement ceremony being held at 1 p.m., Oct. 22 at the Ashford University athletic complex (1650 S. 14th Street).

The ceremony is expected to be the largest in Ashford University's history with soon-to-be graduates traveling to Clinton from all over the nation. These students represent the face of distance learners -- working moms, dads, military war veterans, career enhancers, career launchers, and scholarship winners.

This graduation ceremony is another milestone in Ashford University's history. According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, approximately 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2009, the most recent term for which figures are available. The survey says it was the largest ever year-to-year increase in the number of students studying online.

The surge in distance learning's popularity and the number of Ashford University graduates is making a big impact on the regional economy. Clinton, with a population of approximately 28,000, will embrace graduates, plus an estimated 5,000 friends and families expected to fill hotels and restaurants for commencement festivities.

The Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau expect the commencement to generate a local economic impact of more than $650,000 over a three day period.

Of the hundreds and hundreds of students coming into town, four are arriving compliments of the university. They are the winners of the Ashford University Commencement Scholarship. Students applied for the scholarship by submitting a short video explaining their career goals and higher educational journey.

Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour, America's first African American female fighter pilot will present the keynote address. The commencement ceremony will be streamed live via the internet at

Media is invited to cover a pre-graduation open house on Friday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the campus and/or the commencement ceremony. Interviews are available with Ashford University leaders, students and Commencement Scholarship winners.


About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association ( 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, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.