The Ashford Experience Continues Beyond Commencement

Dr. Richard L. Pattenaude rocking glasses and a clean goatee

It's commencement time again and everyone at Ashford University is excited. We get to congratulate the grads who attend the ceremony, reach out through technology to those who are unable to make it, and welcome an additional 17,000 students into our body of alumni. It's a time when all of us – Ashford graduates, faculty, and staff – can see how our work has come to fruition.


Throughout this commencement season, keynote speakers at campuses across this country will offer up words of wisdom to graduates. Their advice will be similar:


  • “This is not the end, but the beginning.” That is true.
  • “You should be very proud of what you've done and the hard work you put in to get here.” That is true.
  • “This is a reward to you and your family for your shared commitment to making a better life for you and all those around you.” That is also true.

I would add one additional thought: "The journey is part of the gift." Graduates, as you move forward after commencement, I would ask you to remember to savor each moment when something good happens. Don't wait to celebrate until the final goal is obtained. Each step forward is a moment for celebration, reflection, and enjoyment.


With each step forward, know that you have the full support of your Ashford family. Even though you are leaving us as a student, I encourage you to remain in contact with Ashford. As alumni, you will have full access to Ashford’s Career Services and other resources. You can keep in touch via Ashford’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram sites. Of course, the Forward Thinking blog you are currently reading is another great resource to keep you connected to Ashford. You are also invited to join the Alumni Association, which will help you network with other local gradua¬tes – Ashford will even help you organize alumni events in your area.


And please keep us updated on your successes. We love to hear about how our alumni are taking the world by storm. Your successes can be a great source of inspiration to all of the Ashford students who are following in your footsteps. Send us an email with a few words about your accomplishments to [email protected].


Ashford is extremely proud of our students. We recognize the challenges you overcame to obtain your degree and we celebrate your accomplishments during commencement. Thank you for being part of our academic community and enriching the University. I hope you will continue to add to the Ashford experience as a part of the Ashford community of alumni.


Dr. Richard L. Pattenaude is the President and CEO of Ashford University.

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