Online university has graduated more than 25,000 students since its inception SALT LAKE CITY — Online Western Governors University (WGU), www.wgu.edu, will host its 25th semi-annual commencement on Saturday, July 13, at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. This graduating class includes 4,173 bachelor’s and master’s graduates, surpassing a milestone of more than 25,000 graduates since the nonprofit university was established 16 years ago. More than 575 graduates and more than 4,000 family members, friends, faculty and staff, are expected to attend the event, traveling to Salt Lake from 41 states, and one graduate on military assignment traveling from Germany to walk in the ceremony. While WGU students complete their degree program requirements online, WGU holds in-person commencement ceremonies twice per year. Students who are unable to attend the ceremony in person can watch via live stream on the WGU website. Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Corporation, will give the commencement address. Four student speakers will share their WGU stories at the ceremony: Kathleen Cadman, MSN—Education, from Ogden, Utah; Diana Rexroat Cardenas, B.S. Finance, from Phoenix, Arizona; Erica Martin-Cole, B.S. IT, from Bushkill, Pennsylvania; and Alex Sandoval, Jr., B.A. Special Education, from San Diego, California. WGU will confer 2,587 undergraduate and 1,586 graduate degrees in four disciplines: business, K–12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU’s online, competency-based model makes college possible for busy adults who must balance work, family, and financial obligations. It allows them to set their own study schedules and move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. While WGU’s online degree programs are rigorous and challenging, students with work and family responsibilities can schedule their studies to fit their lives. As a result, the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree is about three years. For more information about WGU’s 25th semi-annual commencement or to watch the event live, go to: http://www.wgu.edu/wgu/commencement_summer2013.