February 6, 2024

Purdue Global to celebrate graduates during Feb. 17 commencement

Ceremonies to take place at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. and IRVING, Texas — Nearly 1,200 Purdue Global graduates will celebrate their accomplishments Saturday, Feb. 17, during Purdue Global’s Winter 2024 Commencement. In-person ceremonies are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. CT (11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET) at the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas, followed by a virtual ceremony at 4 p.m. CT (5 p.m. ET). More than 5,500 graduates, guests and staff are expected to attend.

The graduates represent 49 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands and include 44 Indiana residents and 247 residents from Texas. Eleven countries are represented, including Aruba, the Bahamas, Canada, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain and Turkey. There are 250 graduates affiliated with the military, including active-duty personnel, veterans and family members. Nine Purdue University systemwide employees will participate in the ceremony. Currently, 208 Purdue employees are working on their degree or certificate via the Purdue Global education benefit.

The university has 2,938 active students from Texas and there are 5,362 Purdue Global alumni living in Texas.

Chancellor Frank Dooley will address the graduates, 679 of whom are registered to attend the in-person ceremonies and 514 of whom will be attending virtually.

Walda Collins of San Antonio will give the keynote address. She is a 23-year veteran of the Marine Corps who earned her Bachelor of Science in professional studies in 2022. Collins is a chef, author and life strategist who has a passion for helping others fulfill their purpose through food and faith.

Married couple Alina and Deaon Smith of Indianapolis will be performing the national anthem together during the first ceremony, while Samantha Bray LaRue of Laredo, Texas, will sing in the second. Alina Smith has earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Deaon Smith is a graduate student working on a Master of Science in psychology with a concentration in addiction counseling. LaRue has earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology.

Additional commencement activities

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Tuwana Evans, from Tempe, Arizona, and a faculty member in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will continue Purdue Global’s tradition of giving the “Last Lecture” to graduates. Faculty are nominated by students and then selected for the lecture as a testament to their impact on students. Evans is a 1998 Purdue University alumna.

The Black and Gold Celebration for all in-person graduates will take place Friday, Feb. 16, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory.

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

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: Adam Bartels, adam.bartels@purdueglobal.edu

Source: Beth Smith

Note to journalists: Reporters are invited to the Purdue Global commencements and activities Feb. 16-17 in Irving, Texas. Purdue Global students and officials will be available for interviews between ceremonies and at the events. To RSVP, contact Adam Bartels, Purdue Global Marketing and Communications, at adam.bartels@purdueglobal.edu.

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