Western Governors University celebrates its 88th commencement this weekend in Salt Lake City

Western Governors University (WGU) will celebrate its 88th commencement in the university’s 25-year history at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, August 6th. A total of 1,368 graduates who have earned their bachelor’s and master’s degrees will participate in the ceremonies.

WGU is committed to serving nontraditional students, which is reflected in Saturday’s graduating class, with approximately 55% of participants coming from one or more of the following historically underserved populations: first-generation college students, students of color, rural residents, and/or low-income earners. Graduates earned degrees in business, education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. Many work full time and raise families while completing their programs.

“WGU serves students from across the nation who strive to improve their lives and advance their careers through education,” said WGU Regional Director of Operations Ismar Vallecillos. “Saturday’s milestone represents dedication, persistence, and resilience. We are inspired by our graduates’ accomplishments, and we are excited to celebrate their achievements together in Salt Lake City—WGU’s home base—during our 25th anniversary year.”

Since its founding in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors, including Utah’s Governor Mike Leavitt, more than 285,000 individuals have graduated from the online, nonprofit, competency-based university, including more than 20,500 from the state of Utah. In honor of its 25th year of existence, WGU is awarding $125,000 in “Next Generation” scholarships. 25 scholarships, each worth $5,000, will be awarded in 2022 (WGU 25th Anniversary Next Generation Scholarship).

Delivering the keynote address will be Leticha Hawkins, a Human Resources Manager who has served for more than 30 years at NASA. She will speak to the power of perseverance in pursuing your dreams, a message that will resonate with WGU’s driven, resilient working learners. Four WGU graduates will also be sharing their stories.

Ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. MDT/11:30 p.m. EST, and graduates will use the hashtag #WGUgrad to share on social media how they’re celebrating.