The Universities at Shady Grove recognized nearly 1,000 fall 2017 and spring 2018 graduates from its nine partner universities at two signature events. USG’s Graduation Celebration for undergraduate students was held on Thursday, May 10th and the Graduation Gala for graduate and professional students was held on Friday, May 11th.
Governor Larry Hogan delivered the keynote address during the Graduation Celebration. He shared his personal journey and closed with this advice to students, "I encourage you all to be bold, to take risks, to take action, and to wrestle with life’s challenges with everything you’ve got in order to thrive and to succeed. Congratulations, and best of luck as you take the next important step in your lives!"
Montgomery County Executive, Ike Leggett, and University System of Maryland Chancellor, Robert Caret, also served as guest speakers and congratulated the graduates. The student speaker was Kathy Pham, an Early Childhood Education student at Towson University. She delivered a heart-warming and inspirational speech that was dedicated to her mother.
Jason Green, Co-founder, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of SkillSmart, was the keynote speaker for the Graduation Gala. The student speaker was Eryn Chastain, from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Eryn, a military-wife, talked about balancing the demands of rising a family while going to school.
During the Graduation Gala 14 students received Academic and Community Excellence Awards. These awards celebrated students who have made outstanding contributions to their community in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and involvement. One student from each graduate/professional program at USG is eligible to receive this award.
This year’s class shows steady growth since the first graduating class of 36 students in 2002. In total, more than 11,000 students have now received bachelor’s and graduate degrees from programs offered at USG. “The students at USG are remarkable and our partner universities are exceptional. We would not be able to celebrate these accomplishments without such a strong and driven community.” said Dr. Stewart Edelstein, USG Executive Director and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University System of Maryland.
Both events were huge successes. Students will be graduating during the next several weeks in commencement ceremonies at their respective home campuses.