More Than 6,000 Students Graduate From Ashford University

Graduates travel from 49 states to attend commencement ceremony in Clinton, Iowa

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ashford University graduated a total of 6,019 students since the university's previous commencement ceremonies in April. Collectively, Ashford graduates earned 338 associate's degrees, 4,137 bachelor's degrees and 1,544 master's degrees.

Held on Oct. 22 at the university's new athletic complex near the Clinton, Iowa campus, 810 online graduates took part in the commencement ceremony. Graduates traveled from across the country to receive their diplomas. Illinois, California and Texas were the most popular states represented. Two online graduates came from Guam.

Ashford University's online graduates represent the face of non-traditional learners – working moms and dads, military war veterans, career enhancers, career launchers, and scholarship winners.

Jessica Politte-Patterson, a 34-year-old mother of three from Warrenton, Mo., was one of four Commencement Scholarship winners selected nationwide to win a trip to the commencement ceremony. She had never been to the Ashford University campus, nor had she ever been to Iowa. "It was a thrill to walk with my fellow classmates and very exciting to have my family there to celebrate in my accomplishment," she said.

Online commencement ceremonies are held semi-annually at the Clinton, Iowa campus.

"Most of our graduates participating in the ceremony experienced the Ashford University campus for the first time," said Dr. Elizabeth Tice, president of Ashford University. "It was an honor to welcome them. They worked diligently to earn their degrees, and there's a well-deserved sense of pride in having a hard-earned diploma placed in the palm of one's hands."

Slightly more than 4,000 guests were in attendance which, according to the Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau, helped to provide a $650,000 economic boost to Clinton, Iowa and its neighboring cities.

The keynote address was delivered by Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour, America's first African American female combat pilot for the U.S Marine Corps. Armour is also known for developing VAI Consulting and Training, LLC, a combative training program for military personnel. She has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, The Tavis Smiley Show, and other television programs.

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.

Contact: Shari Rodriguez, Associate Vice President of Public Relations
858.513.9240 x2513, [email protected] 

SOURCE Ashford University