2012 National Commencement Ceremony Broadcast


Eugene Fields
Friday Speaker

Eugene Fields was born in Inglewood, California and currently resides in Irvine, California. He began his post-secondary education with University of Phoenix where he received his Associate's Degree in Communications in 2010. He then went on to complete his Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Communications at University of Phoenix, a goal he strived to reach for more than 20 years. As an award-winning reporter for a daily newspaper in Santa Ana, California, Eugene writes about local news across Orange County. He has also covered events like the Super Bowl and Stanley Cup playoffs. He is now getting ready for his next educational challenge; a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, at none other than University of Phoenix.


Dr. Curtis Sampson
Saturday Speaker

Dr. Curtis Sampson, a native of Alabama, was born to Jesse and Jenna Sampson in 1979. Curtis began his post-secondary education at the University of West Alabama where he majored in History and Political Science. Curtis holds a Masters in Public Administration from Jacksonville State University and a Doctorate of Management with a concentration in Organizational Management and Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Sampson is currently employed as a civilian with the 85th Army Reserve Support Command located in a northwest suburb of Chicago. As the Resource Management Officer, he is responsible for managing the organization's $13 million dollar budget. Curtis is a Captain in the Army Reserve and serves as the Headquarters Company Commander responsible for the training, health, and welfare of 140 soldiers. Curtis is married to Nikita Sampson and they are the proud parents of a 9-month old daughter Nila.


Star Pitman
Friday Singer

Lyric Soprano, Star Pitman, received her Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Opera Performance from Indiana University, where she studied with tenor, Michael Belnap. Her summer studies brought Star to ASU where she studied with tenor, David Britton. During her studies at Indiana University she performed in operas and musical theatre productions including Don Giovanni, HMS Pinafore, Orphée aux enfers, La Traviata, Suor Angelica, Don Pascale, Le Nozze di Figaro, and MASS. Star also was a soloist with numerous early music and chamber orchestras.

Star studied classical voice since she was twelve years old under the guidance of Soprano, Patrice Villines. After earning her music degree, Star earned her MBA and her Master’s of Management from the University of Phoenix. The mother of two toddlers, Star is a Senior Academic Counselor at University of Phoenix in the School of Advanced Studies. Currently, she is a soloist with a local band, Renegade Suite, and with the Chandler United Methodist Church. Star is rehearsing an upcoming recital focusing on Italian, French, and German art songs and jazz selections. This is Star’s debut with the University of Phoenix, singing the National Anthem for the 2012 commencement ceremonies.


Adam Di Bernardo
Saturday Singer

Adam Di Bernardo is an Arizona native whose deep-rooted passion for performing started at young age. Adam attended Red Mountain High School which received distinct recognition as a top five vocal performance school by the Arizona Music Educators Association. He was named one of the top high-school performers in the state of Arizona. He was also selected to perform abroad with the Arizona Music Ambassador program. After high school Adam was offered a scholarship to Northern Arizona University for vocal performance. Adam has worked with the likes of Mark Denton, Edward Hughes, Dr. Edith Copley, Z Randall Stroope, and other nationally acclaimed Broadway directors. Adam was most recently seen in Hale Center Theatre's Singin' in the Rain. He has also been seen on shows such as The Greek, Grease you’re the One That I Want, and American Idol. Adam has worked for the University of Phoenix for over two years and truly believes in the impact of higher education, and continuous growth through self development.

Savor the Journey

At the 2012 Commencement Ceremony, on June 29th and 30th, more than 2,100 were in attendance, coming face-to-face with the classmates, learning team members and faculty who have shared in their journey. We congratulate our graduating students who have stayed committed to their goal of higher education since their first day of classes. Since 1976, we’ve stayed committed to our students and their educational goals by making education more accessible and delivering quality learning experiences.

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