Minneapolis—August 27, 2012— Walden University celebrated the accomplishments of more than 5,500 graduates from 49 countries—from Egypt and Nigeria to Saudi Arabia and Barbados—at its 48th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 25. Dr. Óscar Arias Sánchez, former president of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, praised the graduates on their decision to further their education and to “live deliberately.” He also encouraged them to use their leadership to make a difference in the world.

Dr. Sanchez & Dr. Baum at Commencement

Dr. Óscar Arias Sánchez
and Dr. Cynthia G. Baum

“You have experience, life lessons and now advanced degrees under your belt, making you part of a highly privileged and powerful minority on this planet,” said Dr. Arias. “You are leaders already, with the responsibility that entails. And because the group before me includes people from all over the globe, the scope of your leadership is international. It is no exaggeration to say that the world is depending on you.”

At the Minneapolis ceremony, Walden honored Dr. Arias with a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa for his exemplary leadership, tireless pursuit of global peace and unwavering support as a social change advocate. Dr. Arias has received numerous accolades and serves as an active participant in several international organizations including the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, Economists Allied for Arms Reduction, the Commission on Global Governance and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Dr. Arias concluded his address to the new graduates with, “As you start this new phase of your lives, may you never be afraid to use the voice you have earned. May you always remember that change is possible.”

In addition, Dr. Cynthia G. Baum was formally installed as the ninth president of Walden University. During her remarks to the graduates, she spoke of the aspiration and desire Walden students have to make a difference. “As students, you have managed to overcome many challenges to create a better life for your families and to make a difference in your communities,” said Dr. Baum. “You and your fellow graduates will join a network of more than 61,000 Walden alumni. Imagine the difference that we all can make.”

About Walden University
For more than 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 48,500 students from all 50 states and more than 140 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online 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 more than 60 campus-based and online universities in 29 countries.

Walden offers more than 65 degree programs with more than 330 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration and information technology. 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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