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WGU Master's Ceremony, October 2019
WGU Master's Ceremony, October 2019
Western Governors University
<p>WGU Master's Commencement in Austin, Texas on October 12, 2019. Order of events: Processional; National Anthem sang by Christina Irick; Welcome and Opening Remarks by WGU Texas Chancellor Dr. Steve Johnson; Commencement Address delivered by the founding Director of Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation, Daron K. Roberts; Graduate Speakers are Cherie Watkins and Pedro Ortega; Conferral of Degrees by WGU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Marni Baker Stein; Closing Remarks by WGU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Marni Baker Stein; Recessional.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Natalie Murray: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 75th commencement ceremony for Western Governors University. [Cheers and applause] Graduates, families, and friends, thank you for joining us as we celebrate this special occasion. Our ceremony is being recorded and streamed live 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 and National Anthem] </p> <p>Steve Johnson: Thank you, thank you. Everyone please take your seats. Please join me in thanking Christina Irick from Springfield, Tennessee, who is graduating with her Master of Science degree in Cyber Security and Information Assurance for performing the National Anthem. Thank you so much. [Cheers and applause] </p> <p>Well, good morning, ya'll, welcome to Austin. Or I guess I should say, "all ya'll" 'cause it's a plural. [laughter] It's my honor to convene the 75th WGU commencement here in Austin, Texas. On behalf of the entire university, and our board of trustees, we welcome our honored graduates, and congratulate you on completing one of life's greatest achievements. Congratulations. [Cheers and applause] </p> <p>And we also want to extend our warmest welcome to the many family members and friends who are here to support their graduates. 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. Graduates, it's likely today would not have been possible without friends and family at your side. Would all of you, the friends and families of these graduates please stand up? Graduates, let's thank them. [Cheers and applause] Thank you all. Because we all know we go on this journey, but we don't go alone. </p> <p>At WGU we often have family members graduating together. If you're graduating with a family member today, would you please stand to be recognized? [Cheers and applause] Look at that. It's great to see families share this accomplishment 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, veterans and military spouses, please stand to be recognized. [Cheers and applause] Thank you for your service to our country. Thank you.</p> <p>And last, but not least, if you, our students and alumni, are the lifeblood of the institution, then the faculty and staff are at its heart. With you today are many of our WGU mentors, instructors, and other employees. If you've been a beneficiary of the time, and dedication they put into their work, please put your hands together one last time and give them a round of applause. [Cheers and applause] </p> <p>WGU enrolled its first student 20 years ago. Now the university has more than 155,000 graduates all across this country. Since our last commencement in September, just one month ago, more than 3,000 students have graduated from WGU. Today more than 1,500 graduates are joining us at our two ceremonies here in Austin, to be individually recognized for earning their degrees. Among these 810 and have earned their bachelor's degrees, and 695 have earned their master's degrees. [Cheers and applause] </p> <p>You all represent 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Now I have to say of the 1500 attending, 999 are from the great state of Texas. [Cheers and applause] And I thank you all for being here. It's our privilege to recognize you on this very special day. </p> <p>Let me share some additional facts about today's graduating class, including master's and bachelor's graduates. Your average age is 38. Seventy percent of you are women. And on average you completed your graduate program in one year and six months, that's amazing. [Applause] </p> <p>Today's commencement celebrates you, our graduates, for setting and accomplishing a significant goal in moving to a new stage of your life. You join only nine percent of adults in the United States who hold a master's degree. Much will be expected of you as you continue your life journey, as you take leadership roles at work, and in your communities. Education is the great predictor of career success. You worked hard to attain an educational milestone that will change the course of your own history and influence that of future generations. You have aspired to greater things. Thank you for letting all of us at WGU play a part in the fulfillment of your dream. [applause]</p> <p>Now, it's my honor to introduce Daron Roberts, our commencement speaker for today. Daron is a former NFL coach, and author of Call an Audible. He is the founding director of the Center for Sports and Leadership Innovation here at the University of Texas. The center is the first university based institute dedicated to developing leadership and character curricula for high school, collegiate, and professional athletes. </p> <p>Through the center, Daron teaches a course: A Game Plan for Winning at Life, to incoming freshman student athletes. Roberts holds a faculty appointment in the Liberal Arts Program. He has received a Silver Spur Centennial Teaching Award, and the Creative Engagement Award. And was named a distinguished faculty member by the School of Undergraduate Studies in 2015. His research revolves around the issues of rejection, failure management, and leadership. </p> <p>He's been featured in ESPN the magazine, Bloomberg, Business Week, and Sports Illustrated. His articles have appeared in the Dallas Morning News, Fortune, Houston Chronicle, and Time. Roberts is also the host of an industry leading podcast, A Tribe Called Yes. It's available on iTunes and Stitcher. Please, please welcome Daron Roberts. [Applause] </p> <p>Daron K. Roberts: All right, what an incredible day! Graduates, stand up. I know You got real cozy, but you're gonna stand up. All right, I want you to turn around, look at all the abuelas, and the cousins, and family members. I want you to blow them kisses. I want you to thank them. [Cheers] You may be seated. So many of them picked up your children, baby-sat them, they brought you Whataburger when you were working on papers late at night. [Laughter] They deserve our gratitude. </p> <p>I grew up in the piney woods of East Texas, a fifth generation East Texan. My great-great grandfather owned 160 acres by 1870. And it's still a mystery to my family how this black man who just walked out of slavery was able to accumulate so much land in such a short period of time. But this is the drive that I came to the University of Texas with when I got here in 1997. </p> <p>Now my goal when I arrived at the University of Texas was to be governor of this state by age 40. Okay, I'll turn 41 next month, so obviously I took a wrong turn somewhere. [Laughter] But I graduated and then I applied to Harvard Law School, and I did not get accepted. I didn't get rejected. What's in the middle? The dreaded wait list. I'll paraphrase for you. The letter went like this: "Dear, Daron, we like you. Unfortunately, we like a lot more people more than we like you. [Laughter] In the highly unlikely event that all of those people turn us down, we may reach back out to you. But if you have any viable options for law school, we highly advise that you to take them. With love, Joyce P. Kerl, Dean of Admissions." [laughter]</p> <p>Thus began my love affair with rejection. I applied four years in a row. I was wait listed four years in a row. I mean folks, essentially what we had was they just changed the date at the top... [laughter]. So lazy. And just would mail the same letter to me. </p> <p>My mother, 31 years an elementary school principal calls me one day and she says, "Daron, you know I love you." Okay, just a little side note. If any of you or any sort of relationship, if the conversation begins with, "You know I love you," there's a rough patch ahead. [Laughter] I say, "Yes, Mom, I'm aware of that." You know, the entire gestation period, and raising me. Yes. She says, "Daron, I don't think Harvard wants you." Ooh! I said, "Well, mom, you know, at your school, you walk through the hallways and they have these signs like, keep your face to the sunshine, and you can do it." I said, "Well what about all that?" She said, "Daron, that's for young people." [Laughter] "You're old now. You need to go to law school somewhere." </p> <p>So I finally get in, on my fourth attempt, I get in. I'm going through law school, I'm going through the motions. The summer before I graduate, I work a football camp on a whim. Three days I'm coaching sixth graders, none of whom had any athletic talent whatsoever. [Laughter] Fortunately they had a fill in coach who had absolutely no coaching capabilities. </p> <p>But I noticed something. It was the very first time in my life that I did not have to set my alarm clock to get up. And so I flew back to Boston for my last year of law school. I called my mom, and I said, "Mom, I want to be a football coach." She said, "That's great, honey. Let me put your dad on the phone." [Laughter] Reverend Kurt Roberts, 42 years Baptist minister at Mount Olive Baptist church. "So you want to be a football coach?" Daron: "Yes, sir." Dad: "Do you know how much debt you're in?" [Laughter] </p> <p>Caveat, I had racked up a quarter of a million dollars in debt. Yes, yeah, I'm still paying it, so I'm the one that should be sad. [Chuckles] Pre interest. And the deal that my dad and my mom made with me when I was coming out of high school was that they would pay for undergrad, but I would have to pay for grad and law school. But I was fortunate to get a full ride to go to Texas, so I started doing a little accounting. And I said, "Dad, you know, by my very crude accounting, um, it appears you and Mom owe be around $68,492.64. Pre interest." And so my dad being the Baptist minister that he is, there was a pause. And he said, "Well let's pray." So we bowed our heads. [Laughter] I still haven't seen the check. </p> <p>I decided to be a football coach. I write a letter to all 32 teams. I get 31 rejections. The Houston Texans, no. Dallas Cowboys, no. New England Patriots, no. Finally I get a yes from Herm Edwards with the Kansas City Chiefs. [Audience hollers] All right, we got a Chiefs fan, all right! Good luck this season. [Laughter] </p> <p>So anyway, Coach Edwards calls me, and he says, "Is this Daron Roberts?" "Yes, sir." He said, "This is Coach Edwards with the Kansas City Chiefs. Son, what's wrong with you? I read your cover letter, it doesn't make any sense to me." I said, "Coach, I worked this camp ". He said, "Yeah, yeah, whatever. Take out a piece of paper. I have a training camp internship for you. No pay. No benefits. 18 hour days." He said, "I need an answer right now." And I said, "Well sign me up! Sign me up!" </p> <p>And that was a decision that many people didn't understand. And I think about the decision that you made to get this master's degree. How many people around you were saying that you don't have the time, you have too many responsibilities, you're too young, you're too old. And for some reason you decided to do away with the naysayers and to make this decision. And now we are celebrating this achievement. </p> <p>That was the same position that I was in. And after interning for one year I went on and got a full time job with the Chiefs and coached for seven years. And now as you launch this next phase in your life, I want to give you a few thoughts for this next phase of your expedition. Number one, we will die. Okay? This is a certainty. And the reason why I begin here is because oftentimes it's very easy to sort of get into a routine where we take life for granted. The reality is, none of us will make it out of here alive. Not here, but just life. [Laughter] Don't call 911. </p> <p>We only get one shot, this is it! And so I congratulate you for taking the effort and going against the grain and taking the risk. Because there are no second chances. People will tell you you have time, but you don't. Time has us. And so I just want to congratulate you for remembering that at some point, we will die, and we must keep this motivation to move ahead. So I want you to start the business now, I want you to start the non profit now. I want you to take the leadership position in your community now. Because the longer we wait, and the more time that we take, the fewer people that we are able to impact. </p> <p>Number two, hope is not a strategy. Life favors people who stay in motion. Life favors people who stay in motion. There are no more excuses. Think about age. A 97 year old man at the University of Texas just won the Noble Prize for chemistry. And a 16 year old girl from Sweden just took on the United Nations. We live in an incredible time to bring all of the hopes and dreams that we harbor inside of us to fruition. This is your time. </p> <p>And finally, I want you to stay in the deep end. I want you to stay in the deep end. At some point all of you decided that you wanted more. You had a bachelor's, but you wanted a master's. You heard a million reasons why you shouldn't be able to do it: Too old, too busy, not enough assistance. You don't need another degree. But for some reason you made the decision. I want you to hold onto that grit. Let's not let this beautiful moment become the high watermark. Let's take this as motivation to fuel the next phase. </p> <p>In 2019, there are absolutely no barriers to entry. No office? WeWork. No Wi Fi? Starbucks. No funding? Kick Starter. No skills? YouTube. [Laughter] No degree? WGU. [Cheers and applause] </p> <p>In 1857, Fredrick Douglas was staring down the barrel of a country that was about to be at war with itself over bondage. And this was a man who was no stranger to staying in the deep end. At a very early age he had taken on the disguise of a naval officer and fled to freedom. In 1857, and in facing this eminent battle, Douglas said this: "The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all absorbing. And for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must it must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle, there is no progress." If there is no struggle, there is no progress. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Graduates, stay in the deep end. Thank you. [Applause] </p> <p>Steve Johnson: Thank you, Daron, thanks so very much for that. And now we have the privilege of hearing from two graduates today. They are Cherie Watkins, Master of Science, Nursing Informatics from Baltimore, Maryland. And Pedro Ortega, Master of Science, Cyber Security and Information Assurance from Plano, Texas. First let's here from Cherie. [Applause] </p> <p>Cherie Watkins: Good morning. My name is Cherie Watkins. Today I'm accepting two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics. Perhaps like some of you, I entered my chosen profession in an attempt to recover from some of the irresponsible behaviors of my youth. The day after I turned 19, I became a mother and not coming from a family of means, found myself limited in terms of opportunities. </p> <p>While this is by no means a unique situation, it is worth noting that less than two percent of teenage mothers earn a college degree of any sort. Even fewer go on to earn a master's degree or higher. We are so few, in fact, that I couldn't find any research or information to illustrate the journey traveled by others like me. I was a statistic. Now I defy the statistics. I also had to pass statistics, but let's not get into that. [Laughter] It's dark times. </p> <p>I never doubted my ability to apply myself and achieve nearly impossible goals, but becoming a mother right out of high school was a struggle. And college seemed like a luxury set aside for well heeled kids who wanted to goof off before going into the real world. After two more kids, a divorce, and remarriage to an abusive alcoholic, I couldn't have been more of a statistic. I had wasted so much time being afraid but I knew that a degree was our only ticket out, so I enrolled in a local nursing school. </p> <p>The abuse and the struggle continued and one day I ran out of excuses. I was forced to make a change. I left the toxic relationship and recommitted myself to completing my RN. I'm still so proud of that associate's degree. It's a trophy that recognizes so much more than what's printed on it; it's a testament to my resilience. </p> <p>I thought I was done after walking across that stage. I believed my education to be complete. But then God, lover of my soul, saw fit to give me a special gift. He allowed me to love and marry again, this time to a man who makes me feel respected, important, valued. He's here in the audience today. Thank you, Lyle, for always loving me, and always supporting me. [Applause] You shared no list of ways that I needed refinement, you simply loved me, and you empowered me to go back to school. </p> <p>Enter Western Governors University. Education was not part of my family background. I did not grow up with parents who were highly educated or expected that I would be. But Lyle helped me see how important education truly is, and I wanted to pass that vision along to my own children. Not to mention that he has two master's degrees, and I'm competitive as all get out. [Laughter] </p> <p>So when Lyle encouraged me to do this thing for myself, to go back to school, I went looking for the school that would allow me to make higher education part of my own story. That school was WGU. Willful resilience, coupled with WGU's opportunity for accelerated learning, allowed me to complete 69 CUs in just six months and three days. [Applause] Thank you. The competency based program allowed me to work at my own pace which was fast; on my own time, in my own way. My infinitely supportive mentor, Alana, cheered me on as I canon balled through my coursework. But it did not come without sacrifice. There were late nights, too many meals in front of a computer, date nights deferred in favor of tweaking my APA format. And I wasn't enjoying afternoon naps with any sort of regularity, but I had a worthy goal, and my aim was true. </p> <p>I always knew I deserved more. I was brave enough to demand it, and disciplined enough to work hard for it. I was a statistic, and now I'm the exception. I'm a teen mother who now has a master's degree. I'm working as a nephrology nurse in a career I love. And in February, I'm coming back to WGU for a second master's degree, my MBA in health care management. [Cheers and applause] I hope to make the health care workplace as nurturing an environment for the people who do the caring as it is for the people who are cared for. </p> <p>Health care is changing, nursing is changing. WGU is preparing me to assist in leading the way. It's also helping me keep up with my husband's two master's degrees, but it's not a competition. [Laughter] It is. It's on, babe. [Laughter] </p> <p>With my mentor's support, and my husband's encouragement, today I'm realizing a dream. My firstborn is here to see his mom walk across the commencement stage. He joined the Air Force just before my graduation from community college. And though he was able to watch remotely, it's always been my secret wish that he see me walk in person someday. This is that moment. [Applause] </p> <p>As we move forward, we should take upon ourselves the role of mentor, identify co workers and peers who need just a little more encouragement to reach their goals. If we're in management, we can find extra time to give to employees so that they can study or prepare for an exam. If we have peers who are seeking a degree in our area of expertise, we can offer time as mentor or tutor. We can read and critique their papers. Whatever role you play, you can help someone else realize their dreams, no matter how statistically unlikely those dreams might seem. </p> <p>Thank you to those who are members of my support group, especially Alana, Lyle, and all my kiddos. This is for you guys. Congratulations class of 2019. [Cheers and applause] </p> <p>Steve Johnson: And now we'll hear from Pedro. </p> <p>Pedro Ortega: Good morning everyone. Or as they say, "Howdy!" My name is Pedro. Now, let's get this straight, I'm not here to solicit your vote for class president, nor am I here to make your wildest dreams come true. Are we clear on that? [Laughter] All right. However, I would like to share with you the story of a South Texas kiddo with a farmer's tan, whose wildest dream is coming true today as we sit here. </p> <p>But, why should you listen to this story? Aside from you being stuck in your chair for the next hour or so with nowhere to go but the restroom, you'll be amazed to see how you can relate to many of the situations that this kiddo endured on his trek to the finish line. Just like you, I'm sure you'll recall all those sleepless nights trying to catch up on cohorts, or working through the entire night... [sigh] oh, the endless hours of collegiate writing, only to be sleep deprived the next day at work. All due to never-ending wait for that infamous "pass" brought to you by the courtesy of TaskStream. [Laughter] </p> <p>So much work, so little time, yet we persevered thanks to the wonderful liquid motivation we so chronically learned to abuse. Anyone with me? Yeah? All right. So many wonderful stories, everlasting memories, and today this kiddo would like to share his story with you. </p> <p>I was born in Brownsville, Texas, truly yay! Truly a hidden paradise, yet it's considered to be one of the most underprivileged cities in the country. I did not speak a word of English until grade school where I was enrolled in ESL classes. Now, I could've easily become a statistic as well. However, I had to choose to defy the odds, and I'll tell you why I had to choose. But I chose to defy those odds. </p> <p>I worked my way through high school as a band geek and a theater junky. [Chuckles] You know what it's like, you know what it's like with a knack for computers, building a love/hate relationship with what we used to call in my day, "the information super highway." I'm not that old though. Thank you AOL for all those gratuitous nine hour CDs you kind of forgot at Walmart. Thank you. </p> <p>My parents always taught my siblings and me to work hard to achieve our goals, with the constant reminder, "You can do all things, as long as you trust God, and you trust yourself." And so I graduated number seven in a class of nearly 500 students throughout my high school. Now onto college. College was not what I envisioned, and I quickly realized that I was not ready. I failed and dropped every single one of my courses that first semester, and so I decided to join the workforce thinking, "I don't need no education." </p> <p>Boy, was I wrong. I was 18 years old. Working so much for so little. Living on my own. Things got quickly out of hand, and they turned for the worse so bad that I ended up jobless, and living outside of a Whataburger. I still recall that phone call with my mom and dad in which they asked me to come home with the condition that I would go back to school. Thanks, Mom and Dad. [Applause] </p> <p>I soon graduated with an associate's from a brick and mortar school, and kicked off my career in IT. Years went by and things were working out, I guess. Decent salary, I was learning so much when suddenly, I fell head or heels for her. Love you, babe. She made my stomach gargle, and it wasn't just because of that excellent Texas cooking, and Mexican food. Oh! Well, needless to say, soon we were married, and the kiddos came. All of the sudden I ended up splitting a salary for one into three, and that definitely was no fun. I worked harder and harder to try to get promotions and see very small salary increases. I technically became a professional job hopper, chasing all the small salary increases. But each time that I got an increase, a kiddo came. So I said, "Yeah, this is not working out, so we need to stop," and so we did. Three. [Chuckles] </p> <p>Needless to say, I knew something had to be done. And during the summer of 2015, while watching late night TV, a nerdy owl no offense, Sage, wherever you're at but a nerdy owl, promoting an online university that sounded too good to be true, introduced me to WGU. But I opted to purchase the P90X instead. [Laughter] </p> <p>As much as I tried not to think of it, this creepy owl kept haunting me with my reality. [Laughter] I'm gonna get it. Sorry, Sage. [Chuckles] While the rest of the world progressed, I was simply standing by. So I took the plunge, and I enrolled in Western Governors University. I was ready to conquer the world, but soon realized that things were more difficult than I anticipated. I struggled with time management and was unable to complete all of my courses that first semester. No shame in it, I know we've all been there a time or two. </p> <p>But, thanks to my incredible mentors, Teresa, Natasha, wherever you're at, I was able to turn things around. Being a husband, a father of three, and having to travel 80 percent of my time for work made it so difficult to succeed. Somehow I was able to find myself a quiet place with plenty of caffeine. Thanks Starbucks. </p> <p>After four years of madness, I earned my Bachelor of Science in IT Security from Western Governors University. The end of the beginning. I was so pumped. And so I chose to go where no one in my family had gone before. Let's get that master's degree. I wanted to set higher standards for my kids. You always have to be, and will always have to be greater than Mom and Dad. Love you guys. </p> <p>Months into the program, I found myself traveling again, and trying to find the time to study while trying to be a husband and a father. It was so exhausting. And my wife was exhausted as well. She was lonely, and she needed me. And so I made a promise to her. Once I finish this master's degree, we will be together. And so here we are, together, celebrating the fruit of our labor and our sacrifice. Yes, Gabby, Camila, Ivana, Peter ours, as this accomplishment is just mine, and it's as much mine as it is yours. Not only is Dad a master's degree graduate, but he is now senior cyber security engineer in the oil and gas industry. [Applause] </p> <p>Our life is a huge collection of stories. And today, we write a happy ending to one of the greatest. Night owls, whether you're here, or at home, close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Savor this moment as this is our moment. Be proud night owls, we did it! Thank you. [Applause] </p> <p>Marni Baker Stein: Wow, let's give one more round of applause to Cherie Watkins, and Pedro Ortega. What incredibly inspiring stories. [Applause] I love it, get out the tissues. </p> <p>Thank you. We will now recognize each of our master's degree graduates. Would the candidates for master's degrees, and educator endorsements please rise. [Laughter] Including those of you at home, get up off the couch. Let's do this! </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 confer upon you the master's degree or endorsement you have earned to include the Master of Arts, the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Education, the Master of Science or Educator Endorsement, with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining. Congratulations, and well to the community, our community, of innovative, bold, and incredibly passionate professionals. Congratulations to you all. [Cheers and applause] </p> <p>Okay, let's please be seated for the moment. Folks at home, you can sit down too. Our master's graduates wear a hood bearing the color of their discipline. The following leaders from each of our colleges will now present the diplomas to our graduates. Dr. Bruce Stetar, Academic Program Director, College of Business; Dr. Jan Jones Schenk, Dean and Academic Vice President, College of Health Professions; John Balderree, Academic Operations, Vice President, College of Information Technology, and Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, Academic Operations Vice President, Teachers College. </p> <p>[Reading of graduates] </p> <p>Marni Baker Stein: All right. Graduates, please accept our sincere congratulations. You now join the ranks of more than 155,000 WGU alumni worldwide. Let's give it up for that. [Applause] We do have an active alumni community, and we invite you to stay involved with WGU and our mission. Visit alumni.WGU.edu to connect with your fellow night owls, and take advantage of the many benefits and resources that are just for you and for alumni community. </p> <p>For many of you, earning this degree is the fulfillment of a lifelong goal, for you and for your families. The academic degree you have earned at WGU will open doors for you, and allow you to explore new opportunities. But it's important to remember that commencement is really, is not the end, it represents a new beginning. I encourage you to explore your dreams, dare to discover, and follow your passions. Whatever you choose to do, do it well, and great things will follow. </p> <p>Learning is a lifelong every day journey, and one that's now both a habit of your hearts, and of you minds. I urge you as you continue this journey to reach out to others in pursuit of their dreams, identify meaningful ways that you can contribute to your communities, and to your neighborhoods. And help us find our way as a country to unite and create a brighter pathway for our children, and our children's children. </p> <p>So now this is really corny, and my daughter s are probably cringing at the moment. But let's take a minute and celebrate of course, with a selfie. So Steve. Okay, so as you celebrate on social media today, please remember to use the hashtag WGUgrad, which is what we're going to do right now with all of you in the background. </p> <p>Steve Johnson: And we're going to do one formal and one – I want you guys to be goofy, all right? </p> <p>Marni Baker Stein: Yeah, one very serious, and then the next one. </p> <p>Steve Johnson: Come on! Okay, so serious one first. </p> <p>Marni Baker Stein: Oh, yeah, it's very serious. </p> <p>Steve Johnson: All right, now let's see it! </p> <p>Marni Baker Stein: Okay, crazy time! </p> <p>[Cheers and applause] </p> <p>Marni Baker Stein: Awesome. Thanks so much. This now concludes our commencement ceremony. [Cheers and applause] You're awesome. Please remain seated until our graduates have filed out. Thank you so much. [Cheers and applause]</p>
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