Harold Ford, Jr., a former U.S. representative who President Bill Clinton once described as “the walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century,” served as the commencement speaker.
“Graduates like you must use your education and skill set to make this a stronger, more vibrant and dynamic nation,” Ford told the approximately 730 graduates in attendance. “It takes courage and determination to improve your own life and the lives of those around you.”
The Kaplan University summer 2010 class, which included more than 4,200 graduates, earned associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees – as well as professional certificates – completely online. Hundreds of them traveled to attend the ceremony, meeting face-to-face for the first time. Kaplan University has graduated nearly 27,000 online students since it began offering web-based degrees in 2001.