Wisdom and Wishes for 2020 Graduates from University Faculty

By University Staff

Wisdom and Wishes for 2020 Graduates from University Faculty

Graduation is a special time, and just like family, all our faculty care about their graduates and are proud of all you have accomplished. In honor of the Ashford University* Class of 2020 graduates celebrating at the virtual commencement ceremony on October 11, many faculty members have shared these words of wisdom and parting words to their students via personal quotes, images, short video clips, and their own creations.

Congrats, Class of 2020

Several students recently offered their own “thanks” to their instructors on World Teacher’s Day. Now it’s time for the faculty to offer some departing advice as our graduates move on to the next stages of their personal and professional lives. Watch their videos, read their messages, and join them in celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates. 

1. “Congratulations, Ashford graduates!  Since you first envisioned earning your degree, you have completed a tremendous journey. Now, you must decide how you can give back. Be generous!  Remember the extra help or kind word or piece of advice someone offered you, and reach out to others who may benefit from your wisdom. Knowledge and experience come at a price —your time, your energy, and your resources. But giving the gift of wisdom is priceless. Give freely and generously, and you will reap the benefits of your beneficence.” – Peggy Sundstrom, Ph.D., Forbes School of Business and Technology

2. “Despite these uncertain times, we know you are prepared to meet whatever challenges and opportunities may come your way.” – Frank D. Guevara, ED.D., Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education

3. “Congrats graduates!! Thank those who made your path possible. This is just the start of your next steps in your personal journey. Go out into the world and be changemakers. Use your example of perseverance and resilience to demonstrate to others that they can pursue their educational dreams as well. And seek out others to whom you can now help, support, and encourage.” – Kelly Olson Stewart, ED.D., Department of Education and Liberal Arts


4. “Congratulations, class of 2020! We commend you for your dedication and achievement! Whether you are the first in your family to obtain a degree or whether you continue a family tradition, we are proud of you and are excited to see what you will do next. Remember how your dedication, persistence, motivation leads to success, and you will be well prepared for future challenges. Now is your time, and we are happy for you and your loved ones. Congratulations again, and we wish you a fulfilling and prosperous journey!” – Paul Greenberg, Ph.D., College of Arts & Sciences/Department of Behavioral Science

5. “You can’t predict the future, you create it.” – Robert C. Smiles, Ph.D. MHA, College of Arts and Sciences, paraphrasing President Abraham Lincoln

6. “Congratulations to all the doctoral graduates on reaching this pinnacle! You have persevered and are now ‘commencing’ (beginning) the next chapter of your journey in which you will take what you learned about yourself and about your topic to make a difference in your new endeavors. We are so proud of you!” – Irene F. Stein, Ph.D., Lead Faculty, Doctoral Research, College of Arts and Sciences

7. “Congratulations on this monumental accomplishment! You are taking the next step in following your goals during this season of global challenge. I encourage you to see it as an opportunity for innovation and lifelong learning and growth! Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”― Jessi Harkins, Ph.D., Lead Faculty, Assistant Professor, Master of Arts in Special Education Program / Department of Education and Liberal Arts / College of Arts and Sciences

8. “Congratulations on this great accomplishment! Your hard work, perseverance, and commitment got you here – these will continue to serve you in the future. Stay curious and keep learning! Best of luck with whatever comes next for you in life!” – Dan Tinianow, The Center for the Enhancement of the First Year Experience, College of Arts and Sciences

9. “Perhaps more so than any other time in your lives, life is challenging you to stand strong. Our greatest strengths are revealed during the times of our greatest challenges. Let these times strengthen you as you lead the next generation and pass on the lessons learned. Highest regards.” – William G. Woods, Ph.D., Lead Faculty, Master of Arts in Organizational Management/Forbes School of Business and Technology 

10. “Congratulations on your achievement! As you go forth into your future life and career, remember that there is always more to learn. Maintain a healthy curiosity and an inquiring mind.” – Pamela Ford Murphy, PhD, M.B.A. / Lead Faculty - Associate Professor



11. “Congratulations, graduates. This is Dr. Katie Thiry, Department Chair for the Forbes School of Business and Technology. It was Amelia Earhart who said, ‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.’ Congratulations on your decision to act and your demonstrated tenacity for this academic journey. Congratulations on your success.” – Katie J. Thiry, PhD, Department Chair, Organizational Studies, Lead Faculty, Master of Human Resource Management and Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management /Forbes School of Business and Technology 



12. “Ashford graduates, my name is Dr. Michelle Rosser-Majors, and I want to personally congratulate you on a job well-done. My best advice now as you approach your new journey is to believe in yourself, believe in your abilities, and never give up on your dreams. I wish you the best of luck and all the happiness in the world. Congratulations.”  – Michelle Rosser-Majors, PhD, Professor; Program Lead BA/MA Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Behavioral Sciences

13. “Congratulations Ashford, Class of 2020, from the Department of Education and Liberal Arts and from this professor in the Early Childhood Development with Differentiated Instruction in Child Development program. You guys rocked it, and we’re so excited for you to go out and make a difference in the lives of all the kids and adolescents that you’re going to work with. Way to go, congrats again. You guys did it.” – Jennifer Zauer



14. “Hello, this is Bill Davis from the Forbes School of Business and Technology. I want to give a big shout-out to all the 2020 Forbes School of Business and Technology Ashford University graduates. Congratulations to you, you did it! You know, you worked hard to get to this point, so celebrate this milestone and celebrate all the other things you will achieve as you move forward in your life and your career, so you’ve accomplished something wonderful, and we are proud of you. As you go forward, be leaders. Go out there and influence and impact positive outcomes and results and continue to create meaningful things. Lead and lift others, model consistency, work hard, and always demonstrate a positive attitude. Dr. Laura Palmer Noone told me the three attributes for success. Are you ready for them? Attitude, attitude, attitude. Give your best. Put your best out there. We’re proud of you. If you need us down the road, we’re always here for you. So again, congratulations to you, celebrate it in a big way. Thank you.”  – Bill Davis, MA, CM, CDM, CCTS/Lead Faculty & Assistant Professor/ Forbes School of Business and Technology



15. “Hello, this is professor Holly Ourso with a message for all the Ashford graduates. My hat’s off to you – you did it!” – Holly Ourso, M.A./Assistant Professor – Mathematics, Ashford University / Center for the Enhancement of the First Year Experience [ugc video filmed on personal device]



16. “Hey 2020 graduates, this is Dr. Tony Farrell, Department Chair for the Department of Education and Liberal Arts. I just want to say congratulations, what a fantastic accomplishment. Really sad that we can’t be with you in person, but that does not take anything away from what you’ve done, the sacrifices you’ve made to get to the end of your road toward a degree. And we couldn’t be happier for you and proud of you, and I leave you with this, enjoy this time, enjoy the day. And we look forward to connecting with you in-person in the near future, but again, congratulations and well-deserved accomplishment.” – Tony Farrell, Department Chair for the Department of Education and Liberal Arts



17. “Congratulations to the Ashford University Class of 2020. Thank you for allowing us to honor, through this Ashford University 2020 Commencement, the achievement of your degree! Again, congratulations! As you participate in this virtual commencement for 2020, and beyond, think about your dedication at Ashford University and what you have learned in your courses! “ – Ted Ellis, JD, MS, Faculty, College of Arts and Sciences

18. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Dr. Yvonne Lozano, Department Chair, Health Sciences

19. “Congratulations, graduates. Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Whatever you do, do it with love.” – Yolanda Harper, Department of Arts & Sciences, Department of Behavioral Sciences 

20. “You did it! Congratulations. Graduation marks the end of a challenging journey. Today is a day to reflect on all that you have accomplished through your dedication, hard work, and resilience. As you celebrate your accomplishments, you can be confident in your future as the future is in your hands. Congratulations on your graduation! Hoping for the very best in your future.” – Dr. Lynne Trevisan, D.C., Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences 

Health & Human Services

21. “This moment is your reward for all of the times which you gave up a minute of rest, and for all of the weekends spent writing papers. You have earned this moment of glory Congratulations, graduates!” – Dr. Gloria Zuniga y Postigo, Doctoral Program in Organizational Development and Leadership 

22. “Congrats, graduates. Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” – Dr. Stephanie Anderson, College of Arts and Sciences, quoting Nora Ephron

23. “Congratulations on your many academic successes!” – Dr. Mike Reilly, Forbes School of Business and Technology

24. “Good looks, brains, heart, and now a degree, too? You’ve really got it all! Congrats!” – Avisha Sadeghinejad, DBA, MBA, Forbes School of Business and Technology

25. “Congratulations, Ashford graduates! You dreamed, you believed, you survived. We wish you luck as you set out into the world! Aim high and follow your path!” – Dr. Denise Maxwell, Faculty Lead, Department of Education and Liberal Arts at Ashford University

26. Congratulations, 2020 graduates. Best wishes and much success!” – Dr. Gail Hoskyns-Long, faculty, Forbes School of Business and Technology



27.  "On behalf of Ashford University, I’m Dr. Jackie Kyger, and I just want to say Congratulations to the Class of 2020. You did it. Today is your day, your day of celebration. You have worked hard to get here, and I am so proud of you, and I wish you all the best in your future pursuits, career goals, or other educational aspirations. So with that, spend time with family, spend time with loved ones. Today is your day. You’ve earned it. Thank you.” –  Jackie Kyger, EdD. CM, College of Arts & Sciences


*Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus.

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