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WGU Commencement Ceremony, April 2019

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WGU Commencement Ceremony, April 2019
Western Governors University
<p>Order of Events: Processional; National Anthem sang by Angie Keilhauer; Welcome and Opening Remarks from WGU Ohio Chancellor Dr. Rebecca Watts; Commencement Address delivered by Jay Timmons; Graduate Speakers are Rayna Moore and Angie Keilhauer; Conferral of Degrees by WGU President, Scott D. Pulsipher; Closing by WGU President, Scott D. Pulsipher; Recessional. <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Melissa Flores: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 71st commencement ceremony for Western Governors University. Graduates, families, and friends, thank you for joining us as we celebrate this special occasion. Our ceremony is being recorded and streamed live all over the Internet. A special welcome to all of our online participants joining us across the country and around the world. Please silence your cell phones, but keep them nearby, as there will be an opportunity later in the program to share your achievement on social media. Please stand for the processional, and remain standing for the national anthem. </p> <p>[Processional] </p> <p>[National Anthem]</p> <p>Rebecca Watts: Thank you, please be seated. We'd like to thank Angie Keilhauer from Nashville, Tennessee, who is graduating with her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management, for performing our national anthem this morning. Angie is doing double duty today. She'll also be speaking a little later on. [Applause] </p> <p>Good morning everyone. It is my honor to convene the 2019 WGU Commencement in Cincinnati, Ohio. My name is Rebecca Watts, and I am the chancellor of WGU Ohio. On behalf of Western Governors University, we welcome our graduates and guests. It is a special day. We congratulate you on completing one of life's greatest achievements. We'd also like to extend a special welcome to David Simmons, president of Simmons Media Group, who serves on our national board of trustees; and WGU Ohio advisory members: Dan Melia, president and CEO of CenterGrid; and Lisa Grey, president of Ohio Excels. [Applause] </p> <p>We also extend our warmest welcome to the many family members and friends, some 4500 strong, who are here to support their graduates. [Applause] In addition, we want to recognize and welcome the many graduates, who together with their family and friends, are watching this event via our live webcast. </p> <p>Graduates, it is likely that today would not have been possible without friends and family at your side. Would all of you, the friends and families of our graduates, please stand. [Applause] </p> <p>-- our graduates, and we are grateful to you for all you have done to support their pathway to success. </p> <p>At WGU we often have family members graduating together. Would those family members please stand to be recognized? [Applause] It is truly a special occasion to see these families their these moments together. </p> <p>WGU is honored to be recognized year after year as a military friendly university. We would like to recognize the military members who are graduating. Would the graduates who are active duty, reservists, and veterans, please stand to be recognized. [Applause] Thank you for your service to our country, and to each of us. </p> <p>And last, but not least, if you, our students and alumni, are the lifeblood of this institution, then the faculty and staff are its heart. With you today are many of our WGU faculty members and employees. If you've benefited from the time and dedication that they put into serving students, please join me in recognizing and thanking them. [Applause] </p> <p>Twenty two years ago, WGU was officially founded. Twenty years ago, WGU enrolled its first student. The university has now more than 140,000 graduates. Since our last commencement in February, 2019, 6,822 students have completed bachelor's and master's degrees at WGU. Today we recognize the achievements of 647 graduates who are attending this ceremony in Cincinnati. Among these there are 351 receiving their bachelor's degrees, and 296 receiving their master's degrees. You represent 40 states and military installations overseas. </p> <p>Of the 647 attending today, 116 are from the great state of Ohio. [Applause] Thank you for all for being here. It is our privilege to be among all of you, and among those who are here in support of you. </p> <p>Let me share some additional facts about our graduating class. Forty percent of you are the first in your families to go to college. We extend a special congratulations to you. Your average age is yes. First gen, yes, absolutely. [Applause] Your average age is 38, the youngest is 18, and the oldest is 76. [Applause] </p> <p>Seventy percent of you are women. The average time to graduation for those of you earning a bachelor's degree was two years and four months. And the average time for those of you earning a master's degree was one year and seven months. [Applause] </p> <p>It's inspiring to look at all of you and to consider your achievements, knowing that you've juggled many priorities and faced many challenges along the way. You are the reason we have gathered here. And for all of us at WGU, the reason we believe in the importance of our work. </p> <p>Today's commencement celebrates you, our graduates, for setting and accomplishing a significant goal and moving to a new stage of your life. Since you join only 33 percent of adults in the United States who hold a bachelor's degree, and fewer than nine percent who have earned master's degrees, much will be expected of you as you continue your life journey. You will take leadership roles in your businesses, and your communities. </p> <p>Education is the greatest predictor of career success. You worked hard to attain an educational milestone that will change the course of your own history and influence future generations. You've aspired to greater things. Thank you for letting us at WGU play a part in the fulfillment of your dreams. </p> <p>Now I'd like to welcome president of WGU, Scott Pulsipher to the lecture, who will introduce our keynote speaker. President Pulsipher. [Applause] </p> <p>Scott D. Pulsipher: Graduates, families, and friends, it's so great to be with all of you. You truly are an inspiration, not just to us at WGU, but to everyone in your family, and your friends. Thank you so much for achieving this great accomplishment in your lives. </p> <p>I'm pleased to introduce our commencement speaker today. Jay Timmons is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, and chairman of the board of the Manufacturing Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers Education and Workforce partner. </p> <p>The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector. Jay is the leading advocate for more than 12.8 million men and women who make things in America, educating the public and policymakers on issues that affect this critical industry. </p> <p>He promotes an agenda to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, improve the lives and livelihoods of American manufacturing workers, and build the modern manufacturing workforce. Jay is driven by the values instilled in him by his roots in the manufacturing town of Chillicothe, Ohio where his grandfather worked at a meat plant for nearly four decades, and where he witnessed manufacturing's ability to raise the quality of life for families and communities. </p> <p>A passionate advocate for the adoption of companion animals, Jay served for seven years as the chairman of the Washington Humane Society board of directors. Jay attended the Ohio State University, and resides in McLean, Virginia with his husband, Rick, and their three children. And it has been my privilege to serve with Jay on the American Workforce Policy Advisor Board over the last few months. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Jay Timmons. [Applause] </p> <p>Jay Timmons: Well, good morning night owls! Do me a favor: Be rowdy during this. This is your day, and I want you to enjoy it. And I want to extend my congratulations to this graduating class of Western Governors University. </p> <p>It's a culmination this day is a culmination of your hard work, overcoming doubts, and plowing through roadblocks. You have earned the right to be proud today, and I'll repeat it again: You've earned the right to be rowdy. [Cheers] [applause] </p> <p>Now, listen, I love that name, "night owls." It sums you up so perfectly. While everybody else was asleep, dreaming, you were hard at work making your dreams a reality. </p> <p>So President Pulsipher, Chancellor Watts, WGU leadership, and family, and friends gathered here, thank you so much for the chance to celebrate with you all today. Most of all, thank you so much for the opportunity to be back home in Ohio. As the president said, I was born and raised in Chillicothe, and also Circleville, about a hundred miles from here. And I know we have graduates from all across the country, but I'm an Ohio boy, so tell me, who is from Ohio, let's hear it! [Applause] All right! </p> <p>President Pulsipher gave me a very kind introduction, but some of you are still probably wondering who the heck is this guy? And I think that's a fair question. As President Pulsipher said, I lead the National Association of Manufacturers, and our job is making sure that the people and the elected officials in Washington, D.C. are focused on helping manufacturers here in Ohio, and across America, create new jobs, raise wages and benefits, and invest in our communities. We are the voice, as he said, for the more than 12.8 million men and women who make things in America. </p> <p>Part of our mission is helping more people join the modern manufacturing workforce. These jobs are a high tech, high paying, and almost half a million jobs in manufacturing are open today. In fact, we're going to have about 4.6 million jobs that we have to fill over the next decade. </p> <p>A few months ago, the White House and the U.S. Department of Commerce formed the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. And it's a taskforce to help educate people for the jobs of tomorrow. CEO's of America's top brands are on it. So are some of the most innovative thinkers in education, including, as he indicated, your own President Pulsipher, as I am. And that's how I know him, and I ended up here today. I think it says a lot about the stature of your school that when the White House and the Secretary of Commerce assembled this team, they tapped the president of WGU. </p> <p>This institution, yeah, that deserves applause. [Applause] Because this institution commands respect at the highest levels of government. By receiving a WGU degree, you will command respect in the job market. This is not your traditional college, and that's what makes it great. Other schools force you to adapt to their demands. This school adapts to your needs. This is a trailblazing institution, and you are trailblazing graduates. </p> <p>As you heard earlier, nearly 40 percent of you are the first in your family to go to college. So was I. Angie and Rayna are going to share their inspiring journeys to this day. But each of you each and every one of you has your own story. Maybe you were told that you'd never make it. You're working full time, you have kids, how could you possibly get a degree? Maybe you heard it from a co worker, maybe even a friend. </p> <p>Well you proved them wrong. And many of you set a powerful example for your kids along the way, many of whom we're hearing here, and by the way I love that sound. Keep these kids focused on this activity, and show them what the future is all about. Because it wasn't easy for any of you. Life life has a way of interrupting our plans. </p> <p>I should know, I did attend the Ohio State University. And then life interrupted. I never finished my degree. And back then, [chuckles] there was no such thing as the Internet. And I didn't have the opportunity to participate in this type of non traditional academic setting. So by the way, there's another accomplishment: You're more credentialed than your commencement speaker today. </p> <p>Any employer is going to be lucky to have you, and you're fortunate to be graduating into one of the strongest job markets in generations. Do you realize that right now, there are actually more job openings in America than people looking for jobs? That is going inert to your benefit. If you're looking, I do hope that you will look at manufacturing. We need people. We need IT people. I think we have some IT grads here today? [Applause] </p> <p>We need IT experts with robotics and artificial intelligence. Modern manufacturing is synonymous with connected technology. </p> <p>We need business minds because we're growing, hiring, and expanding. And we need young people educated in STEM. To we have future STEM educators with us here today? [Applause] Yeah, come on, come on, I know you're there. The educators are always, you know, they're just you withhold your emotion. You can't do that here. [Chuckles] </p> <p>When you're teaching science and math, the future of manufacturing, it's the backbone of the American economy, and it's in your hands. So thank you, and thank you WGU for being a top producer of STEM teachers. </p> <p>Whatever your career path, you are positioned for success. And I know that because you've proven that you don't let others put limits on you. So keep it up. Don't let anybody put you in a box. Break the mold. Neither your past, nor other people determine your future. </p> <p>I mean, I'm an Ohio farm boy. Now I go to policy meetings at the White House. And I've got to tell ya, shoveling manure in a barn, and working in Washington, D.C., they don't have much in common. [Laughter] Maybe just a little. </p> <p>Today I lead meetings with CEOs in boardrooms. But if you asked a classmate what I was like in high school, well, you'd probably hear, "Dork," or "nerd." I was actually so cool that I carried a briefcase through the halls when I was 15 years old. [Laughter] </p> <p>Now, trust me, in high school that does not make people picture you sitting in a boardroom. Kind of makes people picture you jammed into a locker. My point is, I don't fit into anybody's box. For the record, I didn't fit into that locker either. </p> <p>When I was just 31 years old, the governor of Virginia asked me to be his chief of staff, which meant leading people more than twice my age. Cabinet officials were walking into the office and they wondered if I was the chief or if it was bring your kids to work day. I didn't fit the mold. </p> <p>Today, I'm married to a great guy named Rick. We have three beautiful kids. But some people still look twice at our family because, again, we don't fit into their box. In life, and work, there will always be doubters, and self doubt. But you are already mold breaking leaders. You've defied the naysayers, so keep celebrating your own story. Own it. Use it for good, and be your authentic selves. </p> <p>Now commencement speakers are supposed to offer inspiration for the graduates. But as I look around, and I see all of you, and I see those of you who have served in our military, or who are serving, when I see somebody who has adopted our country, singing our national anthem, I am so inspired by all of you. And all I can say is: Keep it up. </p> <p>I will, however, ask you to do two things after you leave here today. First, remember this feeling, this feeling of accomplishment. The future's going to bring more challenges, there's no doubt about that. Don't let fear or self doubt hold you back. You've seen what you're capable of. Remember what success feels like and let it power you. Let it power you through the tough times. </p> <p>Second, be the difference maker for someone else. Pay it forward. There was somebody in your life who encouraged you along this journey. Maybe a parent, a spouse, a friend, your WGU mentor, or maybe that still, small voice that scripture speaks of. Thank them today and be a source of support when they or somebody else also needs it. </p> <p>And finally, channel your talent for the good of this country. We live in an exceptional nation. A nation founded by people who also, who also dared to think differently. But our nation will only have a bright future if leaders like you make it so. </p> <p>Today we're being tested from the outside and from within. Other countries are challenging our leadership. At home, there are forces that are dividing us. And there are Americans, there are Americans who feel that no matter what, they just can't get ahead. We must do better. Businesses, government, and engaged leaders just like you. You affect what happens in Washington with your voice, and with your votes. And America needs you to stand strong for the values that make America exceptional, free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty, and equal opportunity. </p> <p>From public corporations to private citizens, we can't just be in it for ourselves. Our society is stronger when it's about more than bottom lines and bank accounts. America needs all of us, all of us to heal the divisions in our society, and uphold those core values. This country is at its best when we think innovatively. Who better than students of this trailblazing institution to lead the way? </p> <p>So ladies and gentlemen, I leave you are those three simple requests: Remember what success feels like, be a difference maker for someone, be engaged citizens. And if you maintain the work ethic that brought you this far, there is no doubt you will have successful and rewarding careers. You will keep making your friends and your family proud, and night owls, you will soar above the competition. </p> <p>The saying goes, "The early bird catches the worm." But you know who catches the early bird? The night owls. Congratulations graduates! [Applause] </p> <p>Scott D. Pulsipher: That's really pretty good. Like who catches the early bird? The night owls. [Chuckles] Hey, Jay, you know it's never too late to finish that degree. I might know a university that could help you out. [Laughter] [applause] </p> <p>Thank you again. And now we have the privilege from hearing from two of our graduates. They are: Rayna Moore, Master of Arts Teaching Science Education from Payne, Ohio. And, as you already heard, Angie Keilhauer, Bachelor of Science, Marketing Management from Nashville, Tennessee, who also sang our national anthem today. Please join me in welcoming first to the lectern, Rayna. [Applause] </p> <p>Rayna Moore: Life is full of choices. Like ice cream. You have to try many different flavors to see what you like. Some may like chocolate, peanut butter, and some may like lemon and blueberry parfait. Just like ice cream, I've tried many different career paths before finding what I was meant to be: A high school science teacher. </p> <p>In 2008, I graduated from Wittenberg University with bachelor's degrees in theater and interdepartmental science. After graduating I worked in higher education, promotional marketing, and toured the world as a theatrical technician. When my husband and I married, I left life on the road and took a position in banking. But I always wanted to continue my education. </p> <p>After my daughter was born, I quit that position to spend time at home with my baby, and finally get my master's in teaching. I was excited to finally utilize my science degree, work in a position where I could make a difference, and to make my mother proud by following her in her educator footsteps. </p> <p>With baby at home, WGU's program was the perfect combination of affordability and flexibility. And less than 18 months later, I am so excited to receive my master's and become a certified science teacher. After this long, rocky road, I am finally confident that I am qualified for the best position for me. </p> <p>In my final term at WGU, I was listening to the radio on my drive home after completing my second week of student teaching. The show's host was talking about some survey he had found that listed the top ten most useless things taught in school. He began to list: Photosynthesis, the Periodic Table, mitosis, the rock cycle, osmosis, parts of the atom. You can see how this was a little disheartening to someone who had almost completed an entire master's curriculum, and was almost a certified high school science teacher. </p> <p>Well, this wasn't the first time that I'd heard something like this. It happened nearly every day in my freshman biology classes. "I will never, ever use this again in my whole life!" And, "Why are you making me learn this? I'm wasting my time!" </p> <p>The following week, the class was completing a DNA mutations and codon fun sheet. "Fun," it was right there in the title, it must be true. My students started to understand the concepts and complete the fun sheet, and decipher the secret message at the end. And I was so proud of them and said, "Now don't you feel accomplished that you were able to go through all those steps to find the right answer?" Of course one student piped up, "What a waste of time!" And it hit me. I looked at her and I said, "How do you know you like chocolate ice cream?" She stared at me. I said, "Until you tried it, you had no idea that you would like it. And that's our job as teachers, to expose you to as many experiences as we can, so by the time you graduate, you have a sense of what you like, and don't like. So you're able to make informed decisions."</p> <p>She said, "Well, I know I don't like this. I'm going to be a cosmetologist and do model's make up." So I told her, "It is good to know what you like, and it is just as good to know what you don't. You may want to be a cosmetologist. But don't you hope someone likes chemistry so much that they become the chemist that formulates the products that you'll use? And don't you hope somebody likes math so much that they'll become an architect to design your make up studio? And don't you hope somebody likes physics so much that they become an engineer and build a faster, safer airplane for you to jet off to Milan in? It is absolutely okay to not love everything. I'm just asking you to give other flavors of ice cream a chance." </p> <p>This fall, I will begin my journey as a full fledged science educator, and I look forward to introducing new flavors into Ohio's bright, young minds. [Applause] </p> <p>Angie Keilhauer: Oh, that was so good. Also made me hungry for ice cream. [Chuckles] </p> <p>"Crazy. You're totally crazy." That's what I was told when two years into my college education I decided to drop out and become a singer/song writer. I still vividly remember calling my parents and telling them the great news. "Hey, mom, dad, I'm letting go my scholarship, dropping out and I'm going to sing and play guitar." They were super stoked. Kidding. [Chuckles] They were very, very scared. [Chuckles] </p> <p>To give you a little background, my parents, right over there, my mom's probably sobbing right now they are the hardest working human beings I've ever met. When I was 11 they moved my sisters and I from El Salvador to the United States. They sacrificed so much, left their home so that me and my sisters could have a better life and access to a world class college education. </p> <p>The privilege and opportunity of living in this country isn't lost on me. But the longer I spent on the traditional college path, the less I felt like it made sense for me. I kept having to turn down amazing opportunities on the road just so I could make it to every Monday lecture at 9 a.m. So, I did what any 19 year old would do, and I gave up my dull dorm room life for an exciting, glamorous life on the road. And I was in for a rude awakening. [Chuckles] </p> <p>My first tours consisted of bars, house concerts, and small venues from the Florida Keys all the way to New York City. I loved sharing my music with the world, but I very quickly found myself struggling. I would go from sold out show to sleeping in my car on the way to the next car. I didn't know things like cash flow and accounting, or how to invest back into what I was doing. I started to revisit the importance of finishing my education, but I didn't think college was an option because I didn't want to sacrifice the momentum I was building on the road. </p> <p>It was around that time that I finally heard about Western Governors University... from my mom. At almost 60 years old, and while working a full time job as an elementary school bookkeeper, my mom decided to go back to college and get her degree from WGU. [Applause] Now you're really going to make her cry. [Chuckles] </p> <p>"Crazy. You're totally crazy." That's what she was told, but still, every morning she woke up early and stayed up late every night. I still remember kind of peeking around the corner and seeing her on the dining room table at almost midnight. All of her notebooks sprawled across the table, her bedazzled reading glasses sparkling from the glare of her laptop. Like many of you in this room, celebrating a graduate, I was deeply moved my her determination. It was that day that I decided to finish my degree at WGU. </p> <p>So fast forward a couple years later, and she graduated. I wiped tears from my eyes, realizing that ever excuse that I ever had to not finish my education: I won't have time, I already have a job, it will be too hard, it's too expensive, I'm not smart enough. All those boulders that I thought were in my path were smashed by someone who had the guts to look up. I think so many people in this world are stuck looking down. Sometimes it just takes one person to point at the sky, that all of the sudden your horizons have been broadened further than you could've ever imagined. </p> <p>So here's a little bit of a plot twist. Two months after I finished my first semester at WGU, I found myself staring directly into the faces of Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Pharrell Williams. I had made it on NBC's "The Voice." </p> <p>As I eagerly chose Team Blake of course I'm not going to lie to you, the commitment I made to a degree was definitely not the first thing on my mind. Still, every week I'd get that same trusty call if I'm being honest voice mail from my mentor [chuckles], always with the same cheery voice. "Hey, Ang, it's Rocky, sorry I missed talking to you. Just checking in. How is the fundamentals of business law going?" [Chuckles] </p> <p>You know, the memorizing legal jargon felt really out of place while simultaneously preparing for a celebrity filled singing contest on prime time television. It was that class that gave me the confidence to actually read the 50 page contract that I had signed. I was able to actually figure out a marketing plan for how to release an album once I was off the show. And the second I came off, that plan is what enabled me to have my first top ten album on iTunes. [Applause] </p> <p>While finishing my degree here at WGU I've also been able to check off a couple of amazing dreams. I was able to release a song for Disney, I've toured all over the U.S. I've just finished a stadium tour opening for Jake Owen. But like I learned from my mom, it's not the accomplishments that we achieve, it's the community that we inspire in the process. </p> <p>So the next time someone tells you, "You're crazy, you're totally crazy," I'm here to tell every one of you, damn right we are. We are not typical. We're a force. This is not a room of people who do not know what they want. Every one of you has a purpose for being here, whether it's in the smiling face of your child, the dream of your very own classroom like Rayna, or maybe like me, their desire to share your art with the world. Whatever it is, it's so powerful. Your purpose is powerful. Because when you work for your purpose, I truly believe it will always work for you. Today is proof of that. </p> <p>So the next time someone tells you to settle, remember sitting in this room. The next time someone makes you feel like backing down or giving up, remember sitting in this room. And the next time someone tries to define what is possible for you, remember sitting in this room. Congratulations graduates, we did the dang thing! [Applause] </p> <p>Scott D. Pulsipher: Thank you so much, Rayna and Angie. First of all, Angie, you can feel assured that having already had two of my children go through the age of 19, I don't know any 19 year old who knows about cash flow. So, second, I do want to give a shout out to Angie's mom. Let's hear it for Angie's mom, who inspired her so. [Applause] And let's give a shout out to all of your moms and dads and friends and everyone else who encouraged you to get to this point in your lives. [Applause] </p> <p>Lastly, I want to say to Rocky and also all of our mentors, I'm so grateful for those calls that you extend to every single one of our graduates, and our students. I can imagine that Rocky's call may have gone with Angie a little bit like this though. It's like, "So anyway, I saw you on The Voice last night. I just have a few tips and comments, but before we get to that, let's talk about business law." [Chuckles] That would be an interesting conversation. </p> <p>But I'm grateful for all of those regular dialogues that each of you have had with your mentors. As you well know, that we have endeavored at WGU to try to design a university that feels like the whole of it is exclusively for you. This institution currently serves over 115,000 full time students. But that is 115,000 individuals that every single one of you is unique. And we endeavor to create an institution that is adaptable and personalizable to you so that you can be successful in whatever endeavor you pursue. </p> <p>At this point, we will now recognize our Master's degree graduates. Would the candidates for Master's degrees please rise, including those of you watching this by webcast, wherever you may be. [Applause] </p> <p>Upon the favorable recommendation of our faculty and the authority vested in me, by the board of trustees and members of Western Governors University, I hereby confer upon you, the master's degree you are earned, to include the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, or Master of Science, with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining. Congratulations and welcome to the community of learned professionals. [Applause] </p> <p>Please be seated for the moment. The following are the leaders from each of our colleges who will now present the diplomas to our graduates: Jim Franklin, Academic Programs Director, College of Business; Dr. Jan Jones Schenk, Academic Vice President, College of Health Professions; Dr. Elke Leeds, Academic Vice President, College of Information Technology; and Dr. Christina Dehler, Academic Programs Director for Professional Offerings, Teachers College.</p> <p>Our master's graduates wear a hood bearing the color of their discipline. Please join me at the lectern, Jim Franklin. </p> <p>[Conferral of Degrees]</p> <p>Scott D. Pulsipher: Let's hear it one more time for our master's graduates, congratulations to you all. [Applause] </p> <p>We will now recognize each of our bachelor's degree graduates. Would the candidates for bachelor's degrees, post baccalaureate degrees, and teacher preparation endorsements please rise, including all of those who may be watching via webcast, wherever you may be. </p> <p>Upon the favorable recommendation of our faculty, and the authority vested in me, by the board of trustees, and member governors of Western Governors University, I hereby confirm upon you the bachelor's degree, or endorsement you have earned to include: The Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, or the Post Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Endorsement with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining. You may now move the tassel from the right side of your mortarboard to the left side. Congratulations, our graduates. [Applause] </p> <p>I again welcome to the lectern, the leaders from each of our colleges who will present the diplomas to our graduates. Jim? </p> <p>[Conferral of Degrees] </p> <p>Scott D. Pulsipher: Let's hear it one more time for all of our graduates, Master's, and Bachelor's, congratulations everyone. [Applause] All of us at WGU are so very proud of you, and we welcome you into our community of alumni now more than 140,000 strong. </p> <p>For many of you, earning your diploma is the fulfillment of a lifelong goal. Your degree will provide new pathways to opportunity and to help you fulfill your full potential. But it's important to remember that commencement is not the end, it represents a new beginning. I encourage you to explore your dreams, dare to discover, and follow your passions whatever they may be. And whatever you choose to do, do it as well as you possibly can, and great things will follow. </p> <p>I hope that through your experience at WGU, you've made lifelong learning a habit of both your heart and mind. I urge you, like Angie's mother, to reach out to others in pursuit of their dreams. Identify meaningful ways to contribute to your communities and to your neighbors, and help us find our way as a united country, to a brighter pathway for our children, and our children's children. </p> <p>Now, consistent with the sign of the time that we live in, let's celebrate with a selfie. So all of you I'm certain have a phone in your pocket or somewhere on you. Let's pull that out, I'm going to invite Jay up here with us, as well as Chancellor [Watkins?], and we're going to take our selfie with all of you in the background. You can do the same, so feel free. </p> <p>Awesome. Congratulations! [Applause] </p> <p>We encourage you, actually, to share all of this on social media, and just as you do so, we invite you to use the hashtag WGUgrad. This now concludes our commencement ceremony. And please remain seated until our graduates have filed out. Thank you so much, and have a great day. [Applause]</p>
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)