“This is where your race begins”: More than 1,700 Purdue Global University graduates participate in launch ceremonies


LAFAYETTE OUEST, Ind. – In August, Aron Lee attended the launch ceremonies at Purdue Global University, after graduating with his Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness.

On Saturday (December 4), Lee was back on the graduation stage, this time speaking to over 1,700 Purdue Global graduates who attended in-person and virtual ceremonies at Elliott Hall of Music on the Purdue West Lafayette campus. This was Purdue Global’s 12th launch since its inception in 2018 and the first at West Lafayette.

Aron Lee, a U.S. Air Force master sergeant who graduated summa cum laude from Purdue Global earlier this year, delivered the opening speech at the Purdue Global launch ceremonies on Saturday, December 4 in West Lafayette. Download Image

“We’re just getting started,” said Lee, a US Air Force master sergeant who served for 22 years and graduated summa cum laude from Purdue Global. “All of those late-night talking questions, homework, quizzes, group projects and end-of-term polls got you here: to the starting line. This is where your race begins. This is where the grind begins.

“You will all come out of here with an awesome Chancellor’s Order in Council certificate that declares you have the knowledge to do one thing. The grind goes out into the world and does this thing successfully in the face of adversity. Remembering why you are on this journey will help. You are now a benchmark for success. You are at a level that people want to achieve. Be that successful example. Leave a legacy. Encourage people. “

Two in-person and one virtual ceremonies took place during the day. Diplomas were awarded by business schools and information technology, education, general education, health sciences, nursing, social and behavioral sciences, and Concord Law School. There was 769 baccalaureate, 601 graduate degrees, 200 associated diplomas, 122 certificates and 23 doctoral degrees (16 Doctor of Nursing Practice, four Juris Doctor and three Executive Juris Doctor).

Graduates reside in 49 states – including 305 residents of Indiana – plus Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while nine additional countries were represented: Canada, China, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Thirty-eight employees of Purdue West Lafayette, Purdue Fort Wayne, Purdue Northwest and Purdue Global are among those who have earned a Purdue Global diploma or certificate through the Purdue Global education service.

The range of graduates includes several family ties:

  • Husband and wife from Williamsport, Indiana – Jerry Culvahouse, a steam utility mechanic at the Bindley Bioscience Center in the Discovery Park district in Purdue, and Kim Culvahouse, who worked as a clerk and teacher assistant at Purdue. Both received their Bachelor of Business Administration under the Education Benefits program.
  • Husband and wife from Noblesville, Indiana – Matthew Gualdoni, who graduated with an MBA, and Jennifer Gualdoni, who received an MSc in instructional design and technology.
  • Siblings Joshua Singer (Bachelor of Science in Legal Support and Services) from Indianapolis and Megan Singer (Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis) from Riverside, California.
Frank dooley
Chancellor Frank Dooley congratulated Purdue Global graduates from 49 states, plus Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as nine other countries on Saturday (December 4) in West Lafayette. Download Image

Chancellor Frank Dooley addressed the graduates – 814 of them in person and 901 virtually.

“I am delighted that we were able to celebrate here on campus, where the Purdue story began over 150 years ago,” Dooley said. “Can you believe the classes started with only six instructors and 39 students? Look how far we’ve come. West Lafayette is a campus of 50,000 students and Purdue Global has 35,000 other students.

“We are grateful to offer a ceremony that brings us all together, wherever we are in the world, virtually or here at Elliott Hall. … I love that we can stay close through this institution as we commemorate your accomplishments today.

Dooley noted that more than 9,000 Purdue Global students are affiliated with the military, including nearly 5,000 active-duty, National Guard and Reserve members serving around the world. Almost 50% are the first in their family to attend university, and around 60% are caring for a child or other dependent.

“What you’ve done is so remarkable,” Dooley said. “In addition to finishing your studies, you took care of everything that life has in store for you. And over the past year, that has added COVID to the mix. “

Two Purdue Global graduates performed the national anthem before their respective in-person ceremonies: Lisa Calderon, of San Antonio, Texas, who graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Communication, and Ellen mccullough, from Highland, Indiana, who graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity.

In the days leading up to the debut, Purdue Global hosted a variety of virtual celebratory events, including a photo booth, toast, graduation sign, and social media activities.

A total of 10 924 Purdue Global students graduated last year.

Purdue Global’s next launch is slated for May 21 and will take place at the Murat Theater at the Old National Center in Indianapolis.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global offers personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, enabling them to develop essential academic and professional skills with the support and flexibility that they need to achieve their career goals. It offers personalized pathways for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, depending on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations, no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a Higher Learning Commission accredited, public, nonprofit university. It is affiliated with the flagship institution of Purdue University, a leading public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates regional campuses in Fort Wayne and northwest Indiana, as well as science, engineering, and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, visit purdueglobal.edu.

Editor / Media contact: Tom Schott, 765-427-1721, [email protected]

Sources: Frank dooley

Beth smith

Aron lee


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