Dr. Ward UlmerThe health and well-being of the Walden community is of the utmost importance. To protect our graduates, their families, alumni, faculty, and staff of our university, we have made the very difficult decision to transition from an on-site summer graduation ceremony to a special online celebration honoring our graduates and their milestone achievement.

I know this is disappointing for our graduates and the entire Walden community; it is for me, too.

But we cannot responsibly bring thousands of members of our extended community—including parents, children, and grandchildren—together for an on-site graduation ceremony this summer.

We take our promise of providing Education for Good seriously, and that includes our obligation to be excellent corporate citizens. Walden has made it a priority to align with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and federal and state health agencies to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. While we deeply regret having to make this decision regarding graduation, we believe that it is the responsible and right thing to do not only for our graduates, their families, and members of the Walden community, but for our nation.

Commencement has been an important tradition at Walden throughout our 50-year history. As an online university serving adult professionals like you, we are not bound by the requirements and limitations of traditional campus-based institutions. Our graduates can also choose to participate in the graduation ceremony that best aligns with family and work commitments, including our planned on-site ceremony February 4–6, 2021, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL, and August 26–28, 2021 in San Antonio, TX.

We are making plans for a special, meaningful, and celebratory virtual event that truly honors our Summer 2020 graduates—their dedication, hard work, and extraordinary achievement.


Ward Ulmer, President
Walden University