The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

May 3, 2014

Excellent grad ready to 'celebrate'

CLINTON — When Ashford University came calling four years ago, Emily Ramsey didn’t know if she wanted to play sports and had different ideas about what degree to pursue. She knew she wanted a smaller campus and individualization with her professors.

When the Elgin, Illinois, native chose AU, Ramsey said she was hoping for personal growth. And on the eve of obtaining her Bachelor in the Sciences of Health Administration, her Magna Cum Laude, 3.78 GPA are just a couple of the many experiences she has to show for her time. Tapping into mission trips, student government, commercial spots for AU, general student life opportunities, even meeting Gov. Terry Branstad all helped enrich her four-year stay.

“The scholarship program initially got me here,” Ramsey said. “But I stayed because of a lot more reasons than just the scholarship. Individual attention in the classroom, there’s a lot of opportunities for personal development.”

Now, she joins the largest graduation class in the history of the school and is ready to celebrate. This weekend, Ashford will welcome 1,300 students to campus — both online grads and traditional, on-campus students — to partake in commencement. Events begin today at 10 a.m. with a slew of activities: food, family, presentations and appreciation. On Sunday, commencement and many college careers will conclude with a graduation ceremony at Moline, Illinois’ iWireless Center.

Among the speakers will be Sgt. Keni Thomas, whose career as a U.S. Army Ranger helped inspire the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.” University President Dr. Richard Pattenaude and, for the first time, students will also deliver addresses.

As Student Government Association president, Ramsey has a lot to say about her time, and she will be among the speakers.

“The main point of my speech is just celebrating the campus students,” she said. “We were the largest class ever at Ashford and it’s just exciting that we all get to celebrate together, and we really left the campus better than when we found it. There’s more student leadership, creativity, our athletics have excelled over and over again. In many aspects the students’ lives have been impacted greatly by our class.”

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