Charles Town, WV, June 6, 2018 —American Public University System (APUS) celebrated the accomplishments of its largest-ever graduating class at its 22nd annual commencement on June 2 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Md. More than 11,000 American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU) graduates were recognized, with approximately 1,500 in attendance and thousands more participating from across the country and 26 countries worldwide via live webcast.
The Class of 2018 featured approximately 6,000 bachelor’s, 2,900 master’s, and 2,100 associate degree conferrals and over 6,600 service members from all branches, expanding the APUS alumni network to nearly 80,000 worldwide. Additionally, more than one-third of the graduates received academic and/or Latin honors.
In his opening remarks, APUS President Dr. Wallace E. Boston acknowledged the challenges of balancing work, family and college, urging the graduates to “cherish this moment and celebrate this occasion with family, friends and classmates, and recognize your achievement for the major milestone it represents.”
Keynote speaker General Michael Hayden (USAF-ret) invoked the spirit of the APUS core mission, encouraging the graduates to leverage their education and embrace public service to advance America’s social, economic and environmental well-being in a time of continuing dramatic global change. APU Management graduate Philip Enck was honored with the graduate President’s Award for rising to that challenge through his exemplary commitment to entrepreneurship, lifelong learning and community service. In addition, AMU Management graduate Sandra LaRochelle – the first-ever female Class Drill Instructor in the history of the Navy Officer Candidate School – received the undergraduate President’s Award.
Thirteen graduates received the Academic Scholar Award for their superior academic achievements in earning an AMU or APU degree. Additional outstanding alumni and faculty were also recognized for their community service and teaching excellence, while student organization leaders, outstanding chapters and APUS staff were recognized for their achievements in co-curricular activities and university service, among other noteworthy areas.
Overall, more than 25 student organizations participated in various events, and over 300 alumni, faculty, and staff members packaged 50,000+ meals for distribution to underprivileged communities worldwide through Rise Against Hunger.