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“Congratulations, graduates. Wow! You did it. Bravo to all of you!”
That’s what Horst H. Schulze, chairman and CEO of the Capella Hotel Group, told the more than 6,700 members of the WGU graduating class of winter 2015, 570 of whom were in attendance at the Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Saturday, February 7, 2015, to celebrate their achievements. (Many, many more were watching live online from around the world.)
(Be sure to keep scrolling to view video from the event.)
They came from as far away as Anchorage, Alaska, with thousands of family, friends, and supporters in tow, to celebrate their big achievement. They averaged 39 years old but ranged in age from 19 to 75. Some 39% of them represent the first generation in their families to have graduated college.
“We know the journey that you have been on to arrive at this point and the important milestone that it is in your life,” WGU President Bob Mendenhall told them. A journey so difficultand so rewardingthat thousands were gathered just to celebrate with them.
But the celebration is just the beginning, and keynote speaker Schulze had a warning: Don’t rest on your laurels now.
“Tomorrow, or next week, or whenever you go back to your jobs, to your business, or wherever your life is, has anything changed? It better have. Because you have in your hand your diploma, proof that you can do itand did it!”
Start new, Schulze said. And head into that new start with a dream, a vision for the future, a clear picture of where this accomplishment will take you. “Then commit yourself to what you see.”
In addition to President Mendenhall and Schulze, the graduates and their fans in the audience heard from four remarkable members of the graduating class:
Check out all their stories in the videos below. Congratulations, Night Owls!
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