Capella University, an online accredited university headquartered in Minneapolis, held the largest graduation in the university's history, awarding 918 graduate and undergraduate degrees at a ceremony held July 23, 2005 , at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas, Texas. Although all of the graduates had earned online degrees, many welcomed the opportunity to accept their diplomas in person.
Two hundred and seventy-seven graduates attended the ceremony, including representatives from 38 U.S. states, Washington, DC, and two Canadian provinces. There was international representation, as well. One U.S.-born graduate made the trip from Ghana, where she had completed her PhD in education from Capella after beginning the online degree process while teaching in China. Another online degree recipient flew his parents in from Australia to witness his graduation. For those who could not attend, the event was broadcast live via webcast.
Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and former host of National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation, was the commencement speaker. He called the graduates "pioneers" in using the new tools of online learning, citing "these wonderful new technologies [that] make the where and when in learning a lot less relevant." He also praised them for taking charge of their future by investing in their own education, connecting their perseverance, hard work and faith in themselves to the long line of scholars from generations and centuries past.
In the week prior to the commencement, Capella sponsored a residential colloquium attended by nearly 1,000 Capella doctoral and master's degree candidates. The colloquium, comprised of academic seminars led by Capella faculty and other scholars, offered these distance learners the opportunity to meet each other and learn together in person, often for the first time.
This was the second commencement ceremony Capella has held this year. The first was held on March 5, 2005 , in Atlanta , Georgia, where about 165 graduates attended.
About Capella University
Founded in 1993, Capella University is an online accredited * university. Capella University offers online graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services and psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Science online degree program with 10 specializations in business and information technology. The online university currently serves nearly 13,000 enrolled learners from all 50 states and 55 countries. Central to Capella's approach are achievement-oriented learners, expert faculty, and a university staff that is passionate about each individual's success. Capella is a national leader in online education, committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, visit www.capella.edu or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552).
*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, located at 30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, (312) 263-0456, www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org.