A record of more than 1,800 Purdue University Global graduates worldwide took part in virtual commencement ceremonies on Saturday (May 22). It marked Purdue Global’s 10th commencement since its formation in 2018.
Six ceremonies were streamed live throughout the day. Graduates, who were recognized by their name, degree and photo, received a cap and tassel, PG Proud sign, Purdue For Life gift and celebration props before the ceremonies.
Degrees were awarded from the schools of Business and Information Technology, Education, Health Sciences, Nursing, and Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Concord Law School. There were 854 bachelor’s degrees, 552 graduate degrees, 248 associate degrees, 157 certificates and 17 doctorate degrees.
More than 225 of the graduates are Indiana residents, while nine live outside of the U.S. (two each from Bermuda, Canada and India, and one each from Indonesia, South Korea and the United Kingdom). Some 133 employees of Purdue West Lafayette, Purdue Fort Wayne, Purdue Northwest and Purdue Global are among those who earned a Purdue Global degree or certificate via the Purdue Global education benefit.
Aysa Marshall, who graduated magna cum laude from Purdue Global in July 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in health and wellness, provided the keynote address. She told the graduates to reflect on their experience and use their accomplishment as a springboard into the future.
“Each of your journeys has been different and each of you has had to overcome so many things to get to where you are today,” said Marshall, who is now pursuing a Master of Public Health degree from Purdue Global. “Overcoming is a word I think that we tend to overlook. To get to where we want to be, to accomplish our goals, most likely there are going to be a lot of things that we have to overcome: challenges, obstacles, adversities, fears. You have fought, and you have experienced all that you have and still accomplished furthering your education. That’s huge and deserves recognition. So take a moment and reflect on how far you have come and know that nothing is going to stop you. Take great pride, be full of joy and know that you deserve this, and you will continue to be successful every day forward.”
Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley addressed the graduates, recognizing them for their academic achievements – especially during these incomparable times – and celebrating their successes.
“As we all know, this has been a year unlike any other,” Dooley said. “Against this backdrop, I’m so thankful that your graduation gives us reason to take pause and celebrate. Although we cannot be together, one advantage of a virtual graduation is it provides us with the opportunity to connect from wherever you are watching around the globe. It’s quite remarkable. We are celebrating across the U.S. and around the world, in places as far as India and Korea. I love that we can remain close through this institution as we commemorate your accomplishments.”
Dooley noted that over 10,000 of Purdue Global’s 34,000 students are affiliated with the military, including nearly 5,800 active duty, National Guard and reserve members serving around the globe. Almost 50% are the first in their family to attend college, and 61% have a child or other dependent.
“These numbers shape the individuals who joined you in the classroom and will join you in the workforce,” Dooley said.
Three Purdue Global graduates performed the national anthem before their respective ceremonies: Shelbi Berry, from Indianapolis, who earned Master of Science in psychology; Stephanie Schreiber, from Hermon, Maine, who earned a Master of Science in nursing; and Ariana Simmons, from Lititz, Pennsylvania, who earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
On Wednesday (May 19), Purdue Global hosted a virtual graduation fair that included a virtual toast, dean and department live chat rooms, a graduation “shout out” board and virtual photo booth.
Nearly 11,000 Purdue Global students have graduated in the last year.