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NKU honored nearly 1700 students at Spring Commencement with packed arena crowds

Northern Kentucky University honored nearly 1700 students at its Spring Commencement on May 11, at BB&T Arena. Family and friends packed BB&T to celebrate the students’ achievement in completing this significant milestone.
The Haile/US College of Business, the College of Health Professions and College of Informatics held their commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Human Services held their ceremony at 3 p.m.


NKU’s recently unveiled Success by Design strategic framework identified three pillars of student success—access, completion and career and community engagement. The framework also shaped the university’s singular focus on advancing student success aligned with the needs of the region.

Commencement brings the three pillars of student success together in support of NKU’s mission.
“Even though the journey hasn’t always been easy, these graduates had the persistence to overcome any challenge on their path to earning their degree,” said President Ashish Vaidya. “This accomplishment is something no one can take away and lays the groundwork to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. It’s my hope our graduates leave NKU empowered to contribute to the economic, civic and social vitality of the region.”
Saturday morning’s ceremony awarded 722 degrees to graduates. Nathan Francis, representing the College of Health Professions, addressed his fellow graduates. Francis graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.


NKU alumnus Garren Colvin (’96), the president and CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare, served as the guest speaker for both morning and afternoon ceremonies.

NKU and St. Elizabeth Healthcare have created a strong partnership to address population health issues in the region. St. Elizabeth Healthcare invested $8 million to construct and equip the Simulation Center in NKU’s newest building, the Health Innovation Center. St. Elizabeth also invested to support the Institute for Health Innovation Executive Director position and is building a 70,000-square-foot medical office building at the entrance of campus.

Colvin was also awarded a Doctor of Business honorary degree.
During Saturday’s afternoon ceremony, NKU honored 867 graduates from College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Human Services. Tealie Blasingame, who earned her Master’s in Social Work, served as the afternoon student speaker.
On May 10, the Salmon P. Chase College of Law honored 132 graduates at their commencement ceremony. Erik M. Crew was awarded the Salmon P. Chase Award.

NKU bestowed a total of 1,721 degrees during the 2019 Spring Commencement weekend.

Learn more about Spring Commencement graduates and award winners here.

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