April 27, 2023

Purdue Global to celebrate more than 1,400 graduates at May commencements

Additional activities included in the celebration for both in-person and virtual graduates

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Global, Purdue’s online university for working adults, will host commencement ceremonies on Purdue University’s campus on Saturday, May 6, for more than 1,400 graduates.

In-person ceremonies are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET at Purdue’s Elliott Hall of Music in West Lafayette. A special Boilermaker Block Party will be held outside Hovde Hall between the two ceremonies, and a virtual ceremony follows at 7 p.m. ET.

The graduates reside in 49 states – including 290 Indiana residents – as well as the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, China, Guatemala, South Africa and the United Kingdom. There are 251 graduates affiliated with the military. Fifty-three systemwide Purdue University employees are among those earning a Purdue Global degree or certificate via the Purdue Global education benefit.

Tickets are not required for admission to Elliott Hall, and all attendees will have any bags checked at the door prior to entry.

Chancellor Frank Dooley will address the 1,414 graduates — 1,004 registered to attend in person and 410 virtually — and nearly 8,500 guests and faculty and staff members. Purdue University President Mung Chiang will also address the graduates.

“Many of our graduates have a comeback story to share. I’m glad Purdue Global could be a part of the success associated with it,” Dooley said. “Balancing school, work and life is not an easy task. Students leaned on family, friends, children and co-workers for encouragement and support throughout their journey.”

Lauren Castrinos Bradford, who earned her Master of Arts in psychology with a concentration in applied behavior analysis (ABA) from Purdue Global in November 2020, will provide the keynote address. Bradford is from Anderson, South Carolina, and started her career in ABA after receiving her bachelor’s degree. In 2014 her son Dexter was born. Her background in ABA helped her realize Dexter would eventually be diagnosed with autism. Bradford stayed home with her two sons until they were old enough to attend preschool, at which time she enrolled in Purdue Global to further her education in ABA. During this time, Dexter was officially diagnosed with autism. Experiencing firsthand the difference ABA could make for her family, she became further committed to supporting other families in their own journeys. She was inducted as a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology. Upon completion of the required hours, she passed the board exam on her first attempt to be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Bradford now works from home for Total Care ABA Therapy, servicing Georgia families via telehealth.

Additional commencement activities

On May 2 Chris Findley will continue Purdue Global’s tradition of giving the “Last Lecture” to graduates. Findley is a faculty member teaching criminal justice and forensic psychology courses. Faculty are nominated by students and then selected for the “Last Lecture” as a testimony of their impact on students.

Purdue Global will host a Black and Gold Celebration for all in-person graduates from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, at Ross-Ade Stadium’s Shively Club. Afterward, Purdue for Life Foundation will celebrate the latest Purdue Global active-duty and veteran graduates with a Military Appreciation Dinner in the Purdue Memorial Union. Randy Adams, an active-duty member of the U.S. Army who will receive his bachelor’s degree during the commencement ceremonies, will provide the dinner’s keynote address. Adams suffered extensive injuries and trauma following an assault while on leave.

More information, including how to watch commencement ceremonies online, can be found at the Commencement Showroom.

Purdue Global recently launched a new brand platform and marketing campaign called “This Is My Comeback” that highlights the fact there are nearly 40 million Americans who have earned college credits but have not completed a degree. Purdue Global has many partnerships with Fortune 500 companies or through partners like Guild to become one of the leading options for employee education benefits.

About Purdue Global

Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults who have life experience and often some college credits. It offers flexible paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, military service and previous college credits, no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and backed by Purdue University. For more information, visit https://stories.purdue.edu/purdue-global.

Writer/Media contact: Matthew Oates, oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Sources: Frank Dooley

Beth Smith

Note to journalists: Reporters are invited to the Purdue Global commencements on May 6 and the May 5 events at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Media parking will be available. Purdue Global officials will be available for interviews between ceremonies and at the events. To RSVP, contact Matthew Oates, Marketing and Communications, at oatesw@purdue.edu.

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