After the residencies, the research, and the writing comes the culmination of the Walden academic journey—commencement.

Dr. Krista Washington
(Ph.D. in Psychology graduate)
Today is almost like surreal; it’s just almost unbelievable. I imagined this moment from a long time ago, and it’s excellent that it’s finally here.

Dr. Fred Von Recklinghausen
(Ph.D. in Public Health graduate)
My wife and two children also earned a Ph.D. with me. Had they not been there to support me and lift me up when I was down and congratulate me when I had good times I wouldn’t be here today.

Dr. Ronald Paige
(Ph.D. in Education graduate, 2007 Harold L. Hodgkinson Award recipient)
Graduation, most people look at as something finite … this has been anything but a finite event—I’ve already had a whole bunch of new directions open up to me; it’s really, very honestly, the beginning of a whole bunch of new events.

Male graduate
I feel relieved. Three or four years is a long time of dedicating just about all the energy to this degree. Doctorate of public health. Thank you very much.

Dr. Kathy Johanson
(Ph.D. in management graduate)

Super management woman. Doctor management woman. Dr. J. My last name is Johanson, so it’s Dr. J.

For Walden faculty and students alike, graduation is a powerful emotional experience.

Dr. Dale Swoboda

When one of your students that you’ve tutored, mentored, taught all the way for several years, suddenly has that cap and gown on, and they walk in front of you, and they stop and they bend over, and you’ve got the doctoral hood of their color, and you put it over their head, it is a thrill. It is a thrill like nothing else.

Dr. Denise DeZolt
(Chief academic officer, senior vice president, Walden University)

At the end of commencement when the students turn away from the faculty and face their families and their loved ones, and applaud them and thank them for getting them through, there’s someone in my heart that turns every single time.

Imagine—you are a credentialed expert, able and inspired to make a difference. You have earned a doctorate from Walden University. Imagine what the future holds for you.

Jennifer Shambrook
(Ph.D. in Public Health student)
I am from a holler in Alabama. I grew up a little barefoot girl, and I dropped out of high school. I got married when I was 16 years old. And the likelihood of me being an associate chair of a department of psychiatry and behavioral science in a medical university, and having a Ph.D., I should go buy a lottery ticket. I just feel that I have just been very, very blessed in my life because this is more than I ever expected.

Henry David Thoreau
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”