CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hundreds of online Kaplan University students from all across the United States, and from Canada, Guam and the Virgin Islands, gathered at the Chicago Symphony Theatre today to celebrate a milestone event—their college graduation. Juli Norell, the student speaker, commended her fellow graduates for overcoming obstacles to achieve their dreams.
In Norell’s case, the obstacle was adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
“Because of my ADHD, I bounce, I wiggle and I can never sit still,” said Norell, who maintained a 4.0 GPA while earning an associate’s degree in IT. “Before I started at Kaplan, I thought these were all bad things. Now, I see them as perks, as a part of who I am, and as tools I can use to help not only myself, but also my family, my friends, and those around me. I have learned how to use my ADHD to get things done.”
Norell works as a freelance web developer and graphic designer. She volunteers her services to the Health Care for the Homeless Project in Minneapolis, which provides educational resources for at-risk and homeless pregnant teens and teenage mothers.
Norell and her classmates donned caps and gowns, met face-to-face and mingled with many of their classmates and instructors for the first time. They were awarded master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in business, criminal justice, education and nursing, among other fields. Kaplan hosts two graduations a year for its fully online students.
Andrew S. Rosen, CEO and President of Kaplan University, applauded the graduates for overcoming obstacles and achieving great accomplishments.
“Kaplan University is changing the world of education as we know it. We push the limits of what’s possible,” Rosen told graduates. “Each of you graduating today is proof of what’s possible in your own lives. You clearly have the drive and determination to break through barriers and seize opportunities, to make a difference for yourselves, personally and professionally. This graduating class is the embodiment of what’s possible when you pursue education.”
Rosen acknowledged some of the graduates, including a physical therapist from South Carolina whose bachelor’s in criminal justice helped him land his dream job as a police officer and a former high school dropout from Missouri who is now the first college graduate in her family. He also acknowledged the University’s first graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Communications, and Associate and Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree programs.
Washington Post Company Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Veronica Dillon served as the commencement speaker. She commended the graduates on theirincredible accomplishments and told them they are now equipped with the tools they need to succeed.
“If there is one thing I hope you remember from today, it’s not my words, or even those of the others here more eloquent than I, but the celebration of this moment of your success, your extraordinary accomplishment, with your families, friends, fellow students and teachers. May you have many celebrations like this in your life. Celebrate often and exuberantly and share it with others,” she said.
The University also recognized faculty members Ernest Norris of the Graduate School of Management and Marty McDermott of the School of Business, who both received Outstanding Faculty awards for their commitment to their students and colleagues.
Kaplan University, based in Davenport, Iowa, is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The University currently serves more than 41,000 online and on-ground students through eight campuses and online student support centers in Fort Lauderdale, Chicago and Phoenix. To learn more, visit www.kaplanuniversitynews.com.
About Kaplan Higher Education
Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education, which serves more than 80,000 students through 70 campus-based schools across the United States and in Europe. It also has online programs through Kaplan Virtual Education and Concord Law School of Kaplan University. Kaplan Higher Education schools offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from high school diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a Juris Doctor degree. Kaplan Higher Education is part of Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). For more information, visit www.kaplan.com.