Minneapolis—January 23, 2010— Walden University, which is marking its 40th anniversary this year as a leader in distance learning degrees in higher education, celebrated the graduation of more than 3,300 students at its 43rd commencement ceremony, held today in Dallas, Texas. The Walden graduates represented 49 states and 25 countries, and included the first graduates from its Master of Arts in Teaching and Bachelor of Science in Psychology programs.

“As we enter our 40th year committed to our mission of positive social change, we are proud to welcome our newest graduates to a vibrant community of more than 36,000 alumni using their Walden degrees to make a positive impact on their organizations, their communities, and the world around them,” said Jonathan Kaplan, president of Walden University.

Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education and one of the nation’s leading experts on the competitiveness of the country’s workforce, delivered the commencement address. Spellings is the second former U.S. Secretary of Education to speak at Walden’s commencement. Richard W. Riley, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education under President Bill Clinton, addressed the graduates and guests in January 2008.

“One of the qualities that sets Walden students apart is a desire to serve others, to improve communities, to tackle the toughest challenges facing society. Walden alumni are distinguishing themselves in many fields and in many parts of the world,” Spellings said in her speech. “We need that spirit of calling — of putting your whole heart and soul into active citizenship, engagement with the world, and innovation.”

Among those honored at the ceremony were:

  • Dr. Kenneth Powers, a PhD in Education graduate of The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership from Watkinsville, Ga., who received the Frank Dilley Award, which is presented annually to a Walden graduate whose dissertation is judged as meeting the highest university standards of academic excellence.
  • Dr. Peter Hoffman-Kipp, faculty member in The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, and Dr. Stacee Reicherzer, faculty member in the School of Counseling and Social Service of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, received the Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence.

About Walden University
For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 40,500 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of 45 online and campus-based universities in 20 countries.

Walden offers more than 40 degree programs with more than 180 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include: health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration, technology and engineering. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.hlcommission.org.

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