Academics Building

APUS to Celebrate Over 14,000 Graduates at Commencement on June 9-10

Class of 2023 Graduates and Award Winners will be Honored at Two-Day Ceremony in National Harbor, Md

Charles Town, WV— June 8, 2023 – American Public University System (APUS)—which offers online degree and certificate programs through American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU)—will celebrate over 14,000 graduates at its 27th annual commencement, taking place June 9 –10 at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, Md. The Class of 2023’s conferrals include nearly 3,300 master’s degrees, over 7,200 bachelor’s degrees, and over 3,500 associate degrees.

“Today marks a major milestone in your lives – the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. As you go out into the new world, strive to make a positive impact on those around you. Stay humble and achieve great things,” APUS President Nuno Fernandes states in prepared remarks slated for his keynote address. “You’ve made it through the highs and lows of your academic journey, and now you stand here, ready to embark on the next exciting chapter of your lives. Go out there, make an impact, and embrace your vision.”

Kevin Pordon, the Class of 2023 undergraduate student speaker, urges fellow classmates to stay the course, in prepared remarks. “Everyone in this room has challenges and shortcomings. But we’ve learned to overcome them. The fact we’re here proves it. We’ve developed discipline, commitment, and perseverance in pursuit of our goals. No matter how long it takes.”

Matthew Warren, the Class of 2023 graduate student speaker, expresses gratitude to his professors for their expertise and support. He also reflects on the support community that makes graduation possible. “Today, each one of us can look in the mirror and see tenacity, grit, and perseverance,” he states. “And we can also see a graduate.”

APUS will also recognize 30 students, faculty, and alumni who have excelled and positively impacted their community during their time as students. Among the most prestigious awards, The Mary Kim Ward Resilience and Service Award recognizes resilience, patience, and determination, and a student’s impact and influence on public service, social justice, and inclusion. This year’s winner is Jakia Lindley.

Tracey Lanham will be recognized with the 2023 Dr. Wallace E. Boston Leadership Award, honoring the positive impact she has made in the community. Katt Fisne will receive the 2023 James P. Etter Creativity and Innovation Award, in recognition of her innovation and creativity as a member of the APUS learning community.

For the 2023 President’s Award, which honors students for their commitment to service, scholastic achievement, outstanding character, and leadership, Enmanuel Rodriguez will be recognized at the undergraduate level, and Chelsa Hazelwood will be honored as the graduate level recipient.

For The Academic Scholar Award, which honors students who have engaged in excellent scholarly conduct and accomplishments during their studies, the recipients are Matthew Caruso, Kristjana Cook, Scott Cornish, Sarah Hayes, Thelma Nash, Sarah Sharpe, Michael Stroud, Jamie Swanston, Vashi Torres, and Gary Verdusco.

About American Public University System
American Public University System (APUS) delivers affordable, high-quality, workforce-relevant higher education. With a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive, 31-year history and over 131,000 alumni from more than 100 countries, APUS is recognized for its innovative approach to online learning. APUS is in the top 11% for students’ return on educational investment, compared to 4,500 colleges and universities nationwide, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (2022)1.

APUS, which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. APUS is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Public Education, Inc. (Nasdaq: APEI). For more information, visit

1Ranking based on 20-year net present value (NPV)

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Frank Tutalo
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Meg Sheeley

Meg Sheeley
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