WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – During his distinguished career in the US Navy, Kelvin Gumbs admits “never really felt a connection to the degree I was trying to get.”
The research led Gumbs to Purdue Global in 2018, and he went on to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Small Group Management in 2020, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies a year later.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, Gumbs delivered the commencement address to 1,177 Purdue Global graduates who participated in in-person and virtual commencement ceremonies at Elliott Hall of Music on the Purdue West Lafayette campus.
“This education, for many of us, has given us opportunities to be promoted, pivot to new careers, or learn new skills,” said Gumbs, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and now lives in Pensacola, Florida. “For me, it gave me the courage to pursue a new chapter – after 22 years of retirement from the Navy – for more family time and a new career coaching in various industries to eliminate mishaps, develop leadership and transform cultures.
“The journey for all of us has been particularly difficult. We have individually faced varying degrees of difficulty along the way, but the end state is the same – through challenges, sacrifices and priorities, we are here together today as Purdue Global graduates and Purdue family, having earned this truly world-class education.
“Take a moment and pause to reflect and rejoice in the rewarding and fulfilling journey you have taken so far. The same courage and determination that you used to earn this degree will set you apart in the future.
Diplomas have been issued by business schools and information technology, Education, General Education, Health Sciences, Nursing, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Concord Law School. There was 535 bachelor’s degrees, 417 masters degrees, 149 associate degrees, 63 certificates and 13 doctorates (eight Doctor of Nursing Practice, one Juris Doctor and four Executive Juris Doctors).
Graduates reside in 47 states – including 241 Indiana residents – plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, as well as the Bahamas, Canada, Mexico and Pakistan.. Some 187 graduates are affiliated with the military. Thirty-three systemwide university employees are among those who have earned a Purdue Global degree or certificate through the Purdue Global Education Advantage.
AFTER: Learn how Purdue University’s tradition of opportunity grows with Purdue Global.
Chancellor Frank Dooley addressed the graduates – 719 who registered to attend in person and 458 virtually – to their families and friends.
Dooley noted that more than 9,300 Purdue Global students are affiliated with the military, including nearly 5,000 active duty, National Guard and Reserve members serving around the world; more than 1,500 military families; and more than 2,900 veterans. Nearly half of Purdue Global students are the first in their families to attend college, while more than half are caring for a child or other dependent.
“I’m thrilled we were able to celebrate here on campus, where Purdue’s story began over 150 years ago,” Dooley said. “Can you believe the classes started with just six instructors and 39 students? Look how far we’ve come. West Lafayette is a 50,000 student campus and Purdue Global has another 35,000 students. We are grateful to offer a ceremony that brings us all together, wherever we are in the world, whether virtually or here at Elliott Hall.
“What you all have done is so remarkable. You have completed your studies while dealing with whatever life throws at you, including a pandemic. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get where you are today, and you should be proud.
Lisa Holman, of Hopkins, Minnesota, who received a Purdue Global degree for her Master of Science in Information Technology, performed the national anthem.
Saturday marked Purdue Global’s 15th launch since its inception in 2018 and the second in West Lafayette.
In the days leading up to the start, Purdue Global hosted various virtual celebration events, including a photo booth, toast, graduation board and social media activities, as well as an in-person Black and Gold celebration. and a military appreciation dinner. on Friday, October 21 in West Lafayette.
Some 11,000 Purdue Global students graduated in the past year.
Purdue Global’s next launch is scheduled for February 25, 2023 in Anaheim, California.
About Purdue Global
Purdue Global offers personalized online training tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience outside of the classroom, allowing them to develop essential academic and career skills with the support and flexibility they need. need to achieve their career goals. It offers students personalized paths to an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, prior college credits, and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a public, nonprofit university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with the flagship institution of Purdue University, a top-tier public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates regional campuses in Fort Wayne and northwest Indiana, as well as science, engineering, and technology students at the Indiana University campus at the University Purdue of Indianapolis (IUPUI). For more information, visit https://stories.purdue.edu/purdue-global/.
Writer: Tom Schott, [email protected]
Media contact: Matthew Oates, [email protected]
Sources: Frank Dooley