UMUC Celebrates 9,500 Graduates in Commencements Worldwide

Ceremonies in Tokyo, Japan; Okinawa; Seoul, Korea; Heidelberg, Germany; Adelphi, Maryland; Guam; and Kandahar and Bagram, Afghanistan

By Kerry O’Neill ( |   May 11, 2012

Adelphi, MD—UMUC, the largest public university in the United States, celebrates its stateside commencement Saturday, May 12, 2012, with ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Comcast Center, in College Park, Maryland. More than 3,200 graduates and 20,000 guests are expected to attend. 

J. J. Green, national security correspondent for WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C., and Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr. (USAF, Ret.), chair of the Deloitte Center for Cyber Innovation, are the featured speakers for the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively. Petty Officer First Class Ryan A. Pile, graduating with a Bachelor of Science, and Rosalind C. Lee, site and program director of Progressive Life Center’s Pennsylvania Operations, graduating with a Doctor of Management, will speak on behalf of the student body. Emma Garrison-Alexander, chief information officer and assistant administrator for the Office of Information Technology, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be honored as the 2012 Distinguished Alumna. Garrison-Alexander holds both a Master of Science in telecommunications management and a Doctor of Management from UMUC.  

Said UMUC Acting President Javier Miyares, “Many of our students juggle the competing responsibilities of jobs, family, and service to our country. Our worldwide commencement ceremonies offer an opportunity for us to celebrate their remarkable achievements while also serving as a constant reminder of the vital nature of our mission: to offer outstanding educational opportunities to adult students in Maryland, the nation, and the world, setting the global standard of excellence in adult education.” 

A pioneering leader for 65 years in adult and distance education, UMUC is also the nation’s premier educator of military students, enrolling an estimated 50,000 active duty personnel, reservists, military dependents, and veterans. The university provides instruction and support services wherever students are called to serve, and its annual commencements reflect that. Earlier ceremonies were held in Tokyo, Japan, on April 14; in Okinawa, on April 21; in Seoul, Korea, on April 28; and in Heidelberg, Germany, on May 5. A final ceremony, in Guam, is scheduled for May 19, and the university will participate with other institutions in joint ceremonies for students stationed in Afghanistan on May 23 in Kandahar and on May 26 in Bagram.  

In all, more than 9,500 students will earn degrees from UMUC in 2012—approximately 7,500 stateside, 1,300 in Europe (including locations in Africa and the Middle East), and 800 in Asia. Stateside graduates alone—who range in age from 20 to 76 years—hail from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as from Abu Dhabi, Azerbaijan, China, Germany, Guam, India, Jamaica, Japan, Nairobi, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey, and the Virgin Islands.

Featured Speakers and Honorees  

Tokyo, Japan, April 14
Mark J. Gerencser
Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton, and chair, UMUC Board of Visitors  

Okinawa, April 21
Jonathan Dorfan, PhD
President and CEO, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology 

Seoul, Korea, April 28
Mark Tokola
Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, South Korea

Heidelberg, Germany, May 5
Charles F. Bolden Jr.
NASA Administrator and Former Astronaut Philip D. Murphy U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany

Adelphi, Maryland, May 12
J. J. Green (Morning)
National Security Correspondent, WTOP Radio
Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr. (USAF, Ret.) (Afternoon)
Chairman, Deloitte Center for Cyber Innovation  

Guam, May 19
The Hon. Madeleine Z. Bardallo
Representative for Guam, U.S. House of Representatives