Academics Building

APUS to Celebrate Over 16,000 Graduates at Commencement on May 10-11

Class of 2024 Graduates and Award Winners Will be Honored at Two-Day Ceremony in National Harbor, Md.

Charles Town, WV—May 8, 2024 – 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 16,000 graduates from all 50 states and several countries at its 28th annual commencement on May 10-11. The ceremonies  will be live streamed here for those who cannot attend the in-person event at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, Md.

The Class of 2024 is one of APUS’s largest-ever graduating classes. It includes approximately 4,100 students receiving master’s degrees, 8,800 students receiving bachelor’s degrees, and 3,600 students receiving associate degrees.

“The world is changing, and you will be the ones driving some of these changes,” states APUS President Nuno Fernandes in his prepared keynote remarks. “My message to you is to never stop learning, stay hungry, embrace change, innovation, and critical thinking. Always try to use your incredible talent to positively impact your communities. And, while doing all of this, always try to have fun and choose a career path that fulfills you. In the famous words of Steve Jobs, ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’”. 

“As you reflect on the milestone of completing your degree, I cannot help but observe that your resilience has been remarkable,” said Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Provost, APUS. “Take pride in this moment! You are here thanks to your hard work, perseverance, and dedication to your academic, career and personal goals. I encourage each and every one of you to continue forward in that same spirit.”  

George Linen, the Class of 2024 student speaker for the School of Arts, Humanities, & Education; Health Sciences; and STEM commencement ceremony, notes this year’s graduates are “survivors and thrivers”.

“Everyone has a story, and so many humans were doing their best,” Linen states in his remarks. “Why me? Why not me? Why not you? Why not us? Everything you deserve is on the other side of difficulty and challenge!”

Apiluck “Mann” Kongsomboonvech, the Class of 2024 student speaker for the Dr. Wallace E. Boston School of Business, challenges classmates, “to unlock the very best version of yourself. Be courageous, and pursue your dreams with relentless determination. In moments of uncertainty, find strength in resilience. Set audacious goals and carve your own unique path.”

John DeStefano, Jr., the Class of 2024 student speaker for the School of Security and Global Studies, expresses tremendous gratitude, pride, and appreciation for supporters of his educational journey. “While knowledge is power, shared knowledge is exponentially more powerful in an ever-expanding globalized society,” he states, while also challenging his classmates. “If we each impart a small amount of knowledge onto others, we can change the world!”

Award Winners

As part of the two-day commencement, APUS will also recognize 45 students, faculty, and alumni who have excelled and positively impacted the APUS community Some of the award winners are:

  • Victoria Sengelman (AMU) and Blagoy Anton Pogoncheff (APU), who will be given The Mary Kim Ward Resilience and Service Award which recognizes resilience, patience, and determination, and student impact and influence on public service, social justice, and inclusion.
  • Professor Jarrod Sadulski, who will be recognized with the 2023 Dr. Wallace E. Boston Leadership Award, honoring the positive impact he has made in the community.
  • Dr. Brian Freeland, Dean of the APUS School of Health Sciences, who will receive the 2023 James P. Etter Creativity and Innovation Award, in recognition of his innovation and creativity as a member of the APUS community.
  • Ryan Andersen (AMU), who will be recognized at the undergraduate level, and Rick Moore (AMU), who will be honored at the graduate level, with the 2024 President’s Award, which honors students for their commitment to service, scholastic achievement, outstanding character, and leadership.
  • Julia Amoo (AMU), Tyler Bailey (APU), Jeremiah Blum (APU), John DeStefano, Jr. (AMU), Emily Helton (AMU), Suzannah Loehr (AMU), Emma Myers (AMU), Nmachi Okere (AMU), Luis Revilla (AMU), and Taylor Sparber (AMU), who will receive The Academic Scholar Award, which honors students who have engaged in excellent scholarly conduct and accomplishments as students.

About American Public University System
American Public University System (APUS) delivers affordable, high-quality, workforce-relevant higher education. With a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive 33-year history, and over 137,000 alumni from more than 100 countries, APUS is recognized for its innovative approach to online learning1. 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)2.

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

1APUS has been honored with the online Learning Consortium’s Gomory Award for Quality Online Education, and is a five-time recipient of the consortium’s Effective Practice Award

2Ranking based on 20-year net present value (NPV)  

Press Releases

Media Coverage

Contact Info

Frank Tutalo Headshot

Frank Tutalo
Associate Vice President, Public Relations

[email protected]