Academics Building

American Public University System Celebrates Distinguished Class of 2019

Charles Town, W. Va., May 16, 2019American Public University System (APUS) marked the achievements of the Class of 2019 at its 23rd annual commencement on May 11 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Md. More than  10,000 American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU) graduates were recognized, with more than 1,300 in attendance with their families, and thousands more participating via live webcast from across the country and over 19 countries worldwide.

The Class of 2019 featured approximately 6,000 servicemembers from all branches, expanding the APUS global alumni network to more than 87,000 worldwide. In addition, approximately 33% of all graduates received academic and/or Latin honors.

“We understand the challenges of balancing work, family and college and are aware of the sacrifices made in order to reach your academic goal,” noted APUS President Dr. Wallace E. Boston in his opening remarks. “Cherish this moment and celebrate this occasion with your family, friends and classmates. Recognize your achievement for the major milestone it represents.”

Lt. Gen. and NBA Senior Vice President Michelle Johnson (USAF – ret) presented an inspirational keynote address and received an honorary degree, followed by remarks from graduate and undergraduate class speakers Philip Ross, III, and Christina Schaff, respectively.  In addition, AMU Public Administration graduate and Deputy US Marshall Bryan Cutler and AMU Homeland Security graduate and Agent-in-Charge for Protective Security Christopher Parks received the President’s Award for their commitment to service, scholastic achievement, outstanding character and leadership. Parks completed his bachelor’s with a 4.0 GPA, is currently working on his master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management at AMU and also plans to begin a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice before the end of the year

Other award recipients included Jason Bakas, a 2018 AMU Intelligence Studies graduate and analyst for Canadian law enforcement, who was presented with the James P. Etter Award for advancing the application of forensic violence risk assessment instruments in law enforcement. Established in 2004, the award is presented annually to a member of the university community in recognition of an innovative or creative contribution that has made a significant impact on the global community.

Twelve graduates received the Academic Scholar Award for their superior academic achievements in earning an AMU or APU degree. Additional outstanding alumni were also recognized with Community Service, Education, University Service, and Distinguished Graduate Awards, while student organization leaders and outstanding chapters were recognized for their achievements in co-curricular activities.

Overall, more than 30 student organizations participated in various events, and over 300 alumni, faculty, and staff members packaged 40,000 meals for distribution to underprivileged communities worldwide through Rise Against Hunger.


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Frank Tutalo
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About American Public University System

American Public University System, recipient of the Online Learning Consortium's (OLC) Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and five-time recipient of OLC's Effective Practice Award, offers more than 200 online degree and certificate programs through American Military University and American Public University.  More than 80,000 alumni worldwide have benefited from APUS's relevant curriculum, affordability and flexibility in pursuing and earning degrees in such areas as business, information technology, and security and global studies. For further information, visit