A Walk on the Aisle Side - 2013 Commencement
After years of study and sacrifice, 217 students reached the milestone of walking in Heritage University’s 31st Annual Commencement on May 11. In total, the university awarded degrees and professional certificates to 303 graduates this academic year.
According to the keynote speaker at the event, Dr. David Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), “If you were to ask me to name one institution that has had, for its size, more disproportionate impact on the lives of those who have come through the institution, I would tell you it was Heritage University.”
Warren is widely regarded as one of the most influential voices for higher education in Washington DC. He was a driving force behind the 2008 Higher Education Act and held a leadership role in the passage of the new GI Bill, which included the opportunity to participate in private education through the Yellow Ribbon Program. With his leadership in the Student Aid Alliance, Warren spearheaded a campaign of 50 higher education associations to increase student aid, which lead to the doubling of Pell Grant funding.
In his Heritage address, Warren spoke of the boundary decisions that have shaped our world and called on graduates to do the same.
“A boundary decision is one that can change your life irrevocably, alter your relationships with your family and your friends, your neighbors, your neighborhood, and the nation itself,” he said. “Into every life comes a boundary decision; these graduates in front of me have already made at least one boundary decision. They chose to come to Heritage University and to graduate from this place.”
Along with Warren’s address, eight students and two alumni were formally recognized during the ceremony. Alumni Joshua Rousculp (B.A., English, 2005) and Erich Bolz (M.Ed., 2008) were honored as the Violet Lumley Rau Outstanding Alumni Award recipients.
Seven graduates were singled out for their academic performance: Darlene Carr (B.A., Education), Dawn Johnson (B.A., Education), Tracy Molloy (B.A., Education), Stephanie Olson (B.A., Education), Robin Perches (B.S.W., Social Work), Bacil “Base” Shirley (B.S.W., Social Work) and Jamie Turner (B.A., Education). Each of them received the Board of Directors’ Academic Excellence Award, which is given to students with the highest cumulative grade point average. All seven graduated with a 4.0 GPA.
Rocio Perez (B.A., Criminal Justice), who was selected by her peers to present the undergraduate remarks during the ceremony, received the President’s Council Award of Distinction. This award is given to students with a distinguished record of academic excellence and service to the campus community.
To see more images from Commencement and watch Dr. Warren’s keynote address (as well as the undergraduate and graduate student speeches), visit Heritage online at www.heritage.edu.