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Dear University of Phoenix and friends everywhere:

At this time of the year college graduations abound, and the University of Phoenix is no exception. We have graduation ceremonies taking place all over the United States, as well as on military bases in the Pacific and Europe. 

On June 25th and 26th, the largest of all our graduations will take place in the University of Phoenix Stadium for the Online Campus graduates. This year, more than 90,000 students will graduate from the Online Campus and approximately 3,000 will attend the commencement ceremonies in person. These commencement ceremonies are unique because for many participants it will be the first time they will come face-to-face with their classmates, their learning team members and faculty. It is a truly exciting time. 

Adding to that excitement are the keynote speakers that, this year, include the distinguished former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Dr. Rice will be the featured speaker at the Friday evening and Saturday morning ceremonies. The University is extremely proud that Dr. Rice has agreed to take the time from her demanding work schedule as a Stanford University professor and Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution to address University of Phoenix graduates.

At the Friday morning ceremony, I am pleased to announce that Randy Jackson will deliver the keynote address. At that time, we will award the second honorary degree ever given by the University of Phoenix to Mr. Jackson. Mr. Jackson, of American Idol fame, is well known in the entertainment industry. What many people do not know, however, is that Randy Jackson spends a great deal of time and energy giving back to the community and increasing opportunities for all people, not just those lucky enough to have survived the auditions of American Idol.

Randy will be awarded the honorary degree, the Doctor of Letters for Public Service and Humanitarian Endeavors to Enhance Quality of Life and the Advancement of Knowledge in recognition for his volunteer efforts with many, many organizations including serving as U.S Ambassador for Save the Children, as well as the Global Goodwill Ambassador for the PUR Children's Safe Drinking Water Campaign. This means that Randy Jackson joins the ranks of those people who can proudly say, I am a Phoenix.

University of Phoenix students, alumni and friends from all locations are invited to take part in the festivities and hear both keynote speakers via a live webcast on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26. 

The University salutes graduates everywhere for their hard work, dedication and efforts to improve themselves, and in doing so, improve the quality of life for their loved ones and their communities. What our graduates and our students do each and every day is to go above and beyond, and that sets you apart from the pack.

My personal congratulations go out to all University of Phoenix graduates! 

Bill Pepicello, President
University of Phoenix

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