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September 6, 2019

WGU to Hold Largest Commencement in the University’s 22-Year History

Graduates from 43 states to participate in Seattle commencement, including more than 1,000 from Washington state

SEATTLE – More than 13,000 people will gather in Seattle’s T-Mobile Park on Saturday, September 7, to celebrate Western Governors University’s (WGU) most recent graduates. In the past month alone, more than 2,200 students have graduated from WGU, and a total of 1,450 graduates will attend commencement in person, making Saturday’s ceremonies the largest in WGU’s 22-year history. 

The master’s ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. PDT, and the bachelor’s ceremony will follow at 1:45 p.m. PDT. For those unable to attend the ceremonies in person, both sessions will be streamed live.

During Saturday’s ceremonies, WGU will celebrate  the 1,296 undergraduate and 1,005 graduate degree recipients who completed their degrees since the university’s last commencement in August 2019. Graduates earned degrees in health professions and nursing, business, K–12 education, and information technology. 

Sekou Andrews will deliver the commencement address. Andrews, a schoolteacher-turned-national poetry slam champion, is known as a leading “Poetic Voice.” In addition to Andrews’ address, four WGU graduates will share their stories. Addressing the undergraduate class will be Rachel Davidson, from Gonzalas, Louisiana, who will receive her B.S. in Marketing Management, and Natalie Mohn, from Orting, Washington, who will receive her B.A. in Special Education. Addressing the graduate class will be Jayven Tipado, from Augusta, Georgia, who will receive her M.S. in Nursing – Leadership and Management, and Dawn Helzer, from Lacey, Washington, who will receive her M.S. in Management and Leadership. 

Of this graduating class, the average time to graduation for those earning a bachelor’s degree was two years, four months, while the average time for graduate programs was one year, seven months. All of WGU's programs are competency-based—a learning model that focuses on measuring learning rather than time spent in class. This model—along with online access to courses, study materials, and proctored assessments—means students are able to complete coursework on schedules that fit their lives—not driven by a syllabus or class schedules. 

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Leslie Reed, Director, External Communications
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