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Drexel University awards 108 diplomas at inaugural Sacramento commencement ceremony | Community

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Drexel University awards 108 diplomas at inaugural Sacramento commencement ceremony
Drexel University awards 108 diplomas at inaugural Sacramento commencement ceremony

SACRAMENTO (June 27, 2011) – Drexel University awarded 108 master’s level diplomas on Saturday, June 25, at its first commencement for the university’s Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento.

Sacramento’s historic Crocker Art Museum played host for the this historic event – the first group of Drexel students in Sacramento to graduate and the first commencement ceremony outside of Philadelphia in the university’s 120-year history.

The commencement included students who enrolled in Drexel master’s degree programs in 2009. To date, Drexel has enrolled 424 students in its doctoral, master’s, and post-baccalaureate programs in Sacramento since opening its Center for Graduate Studies in January 2009.

More than 700 people, including graduating students, their families and friends, Drexel alumni, Sacramento faculty, and senior staff members, came together to celebrate the commencement and subsequent reception at the Crocker Art Museum.

“Two and a half years ago, Drexel University embarked on an innovative program to provide high-quality advanced degrees to working professionals in Northern California,” said Carl "Tobey" Oxholm III, Senior Vice President of Drexel and the inaugural Dean of its Center for Graduate Studies. “These first graduates joined us, willing to be a part of creating something new for Drexel University, new for this community, and at the cutting edge in higher education. They embraced that opportunity and distinguished themselves as entrepreneurs and future leaders of Northern California.”

Michael Kieschnick, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of CREDO/Working Assets, delivered the keynote address at the commencement. He also was presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his lifetime commitment to civic engagement and social justice. Kieschnick praised Drexel for successfully offering both a high-tech teaching and research environment, and mentoring students on how to actively engage with the community.

Steven Pon was among those first students who began classes in January 2009. Pon, who earned his MBA while working as an IT Project Manager with PASCO, was elected President of the new Graduate Center Alumni Council. He said he achieved much more than he expected from his Drexel experience.

“A Drexel education is so much more than textbooks and exams. Regardless of what area of study, Drexel students gain a new perspective on leadership,” Pon said. “Drexel provides its students with the understanding, encouragement, and connections that we need to get involved in the community and to step into leadership roles. I have gained some valuable additions to my leadership experience. These tools are applicable today and they will be a tremendous help to me in the future.”

Drexel University is a nationally top-ranked, comprehensive, private, not-for profit university, which was founded in Philadelphia in 1891. Drexel’s Center for Graduate Studies is known as one of Northern California's most high-tech educational facilities. In its state-of-the-art classrooms, Drexel teaches six master's, one doctorate and one post-baccalaureate program, that are designed for working professionals, in the fields of entrepreneurial business, higher education, knowledge management and health science. It will award master’s degrees in business administration, human resource development, higher education, nurse education, nurse leadership, information systems and library and information science. It is starting two new master’s programs this fall: Masters in Finance and Master of Medical Science. More information on Drexel's graduate programs in California can be found at www.drexel.edu/sacramento or by calling 916-325-4600.