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Western Governors University to Honor More than 5,500 Graduates at Semi-Annual Commencement

Companies mentioned in this article: Western Governors University

SALT LAKE CITY, July 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Western Governors University (WGU),, will recognize 5,541 graduates at its 27(th) semi-annual commencement on Saturday, July 12, at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, at 9:45 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Nearly 850 graduates and 5,700 family members, friends, faculty, and staff are expected to travel from 45 states to attend the event. While WGU students complete their degree program requirements online, WGU holds in-person commencement ceremonies twice a year. Students who are unable to attend the ceremony in person can participate via a live stream on the WGU website.

Ted Mitchell, U.S. Under Secretary of Education, will deliver the commencement address. Four student speakers also will share their WGU stories at the ceremony: Jenny Bascos, MSN--Leadership and Management, from Riverside, California; Patricia Bliss Knight, MBA--Management and Strategy, from Prescott, Arizona; Kara Nelson, B.A. Special Education, from Rexburg, Idaho; and Jeffrey Rahmlow, B.S. Information Technology--Network Administration, from Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

During Saturday's convocation ceremonies, WGU will confer 3,085 undergraduate and 2,456 graduate degrees in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU's online, competency-based model allows for busy adults to earn their degrees without sacrificing work, family, and financial obligations. Students set their own study schedules and move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their studies, finishing faster and saving money--the average time to complete a bachelor's degree is less than three years.

For more information about WGU's 27(th) semi-annual commencement, or to watch the event live, go to

About Western Governors University

Recognized by President Obama as an innovative university that "awards credits based on learning, not seat time," Western Governors University is the only university in the U.S. offering accredited, competency-based bachelor's and master's degree programs at scale. Named one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies for 2013," WGU has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN's "Schools of Thought," and in The New York Times.

WGU was established in 1997 by a bipartisan group of U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education. Today, WGU enrolls more than 46,000 students in all 50 states and has nearly 36,000 graduates nationwide. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Western Governors University has partnered with five states to establish state-based universities aimed at adding affordable capacity to state higher education systems. WGU Indiana, WGU Missouri, WGU Tennessee, WGU Texas, and WGU Washington are key elements in their states' strategies for increasing the percentage of adults with bachelor's or master's degrees. These state-endorsed universities offer degree programs that are accredited through WGU.

The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations, including AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at or by calling 866.225.5948.

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Contact for media inquiries:
Joan Mitchell - VP of Public Relations

SOURCE Western Governors University