On Thursday, April 9, the family and friends of the Louisville Campus Class of 2013 gathered at Walnut Street Baptist Church for the much anticipated annual commencement ceremony. Tears and cheers were abundant as the degrees of 86 jubilant graduates were conferred.
Three graduates of the American National University online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, LaShanda Leach, Valerie Persinger, and DeTroyia McGruder, also participated in the service and received their ceremonial hoods from director of online education Matt Poole. The three graduates all earned associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration-management from the Louisville Campus, then continued to become members of the first graduating class of the ANU online MBA program.
During the ceremony, graduates from the business, medical, and computer technology programs received awards for leadership and high academic achievement. Darlene Eads was the recipient of the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award. She earned a medical record technician diploma from the campus in 1995 and returned to the campus to earn a bachelor’s degree in health care management in 2011. She has had a long and successful career working for Park DuValle Community Health Center -most recently working for the clinic in patient accounts and credentialing. “I’m very honored and surprised,” said Darlene following the ceremony. “I love National. This has been like a family for me. I try to always encourage those who go there,” she said, adding that she has frequently taken on externs to work with her at Park DuValle.
The guest speaker of the evening, WAVE 3 News anchor Dawne Gee, delivered an inspiring message to the graduates and their guests. She shared that she applied nine times for a job at WAVE 3 before she was finally hired by the station. She recalled that she was told by her supervisors that she would never work as an on-air talent. “But somebody didn’t show up for work one day,” explained Ms. Gee, who volunteered to take their place on-air, giving her the opportunity to prove herself. “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you are right,” she said. She applauded the graduates for successfully completing their programs. Ms. Gee concluded by saying, “Don’t ever let someone tell you what you can’t do. Get your dream job.”
In the top photo, Matt Poole, director of online education (left), and campus director Vincent Tinebra (right) are pictured with MBA graduates Valerie Persinger, DeTroyia McGruder, and LaShanda Leach at the Louisville Campus commencement ceremony. WAVE 3 news anchor and guest speaker Dawne Gee is pictured in the middle photo as she delivered an inspiring message to the Class of 2013. Alumni Hall of Achievement recipient Darlene Eads is pictured in the bottom photo during the ceremony accepting her award from campus director Vincent Tinebra.