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Walden Magazine // Jul 23, 2018

Letter from the Interim President

Dr. Ward UlmerDear Fellow Alumni,

I am truly humbled to serve as interim president of Walden after serving in leadership positions here for 6 years. Like you, I owe much of my success to this university.

In 2001, I was halfway through a doctoral program at Clemson University. On weekends, a faculty member would travel to our location 3-4 hours away. But when our cohort dwindled, the program ended. I needed a course that was only offered on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 a.m. With three children then and a job that required frequent travel, I couldn’t continue toward my dream of a PhD.

I’m sure this story sounds familiar to you. It certainly did to our founders, Bernie and Rita Turner. They started Walden to help people overcome barriers to continuing their education. Fortunately, long-time faculty member Dr. Raghu Korrapati recommended Walden, and I earned my PhD here in 2004. When you share your Walden experience with others, it is life changing.

That’s my story, but what energizes me are your stories. This 25th issue of the magazine is so inspiring. You’ll read about the great things that happen when our alumni connect, such as Dr. Alvin Mena Cantero ’17, ’15 and Dr. Cynthia Hickman ’16, ’09. You’ll also see what Dr. Rachel Ivory ’17, ’09, Kara Ball ’11, Dr. Fredrick Murphy ’17, Dr. Donald Schlomer ’17, and Dr. Joan Murray ’16 are doing to improve the lives of people serving our country in the military. And those are just a few of the stories from our more than 126,000 alumni around the world.

This summer, we are celebrating our 60th Commencement Ceremony—more than 1,100 new graduates contributing their stories to the legacy of our founders by overcoming barriers and making their world a better place. I look forward to hearing their stories and yours.


Dr. L. Ward Ulmer ’04
Interim President
PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences