SPRINGFIELD, MO, November 11, 2008 — George B. Clayborn of Willard, MO, is a veteran of both the U.S. Army and Navy. Clayborn's military service took him around the world, facilitated opportunities to study nuclear power, and inspired him to be a life-long learner who wanted to complete a college degree. Clayborn's early departure for Army boot camp caused him to miss his high school graduation ceremony over 20 years ago. His mother, Glenda Clayborn, of Deer, AR, watched her son cross the stage and accept his Bachelor of Science in Business Management at University of Phoenix, Springfield, MO, Campus commencement ceremonies in May.

"George's story is inspiring. He served his country, a commitment that we honor every day, but especially during Veteran's Day observances. In turn, we were proud to help George fulfill a life-long dream of earning his degree," Yalonda Barnes, learning center director, University of Phoenix, Springfield Campus, said. "In reaching his academic potential, earning his degree, and addressing recent graduates, George inspires people, including educators who admired his commitment and believed in his unequivocal success."

As a veteran of two branches of the armed services, Clayborn traveled the world and held diverse jobs. He took part in the Navy's nuclear power program and became a welder and pipe fitter in civilian life. He is currently in a managerial role for Multicraft Contractors, a construction company in Springdale, AR, with a branch in Springfield, MO. Clayborn's decision to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Management was impacted by his potential for career advancement and his dream of earning a college degree.

"Working with my learning team in class and online has been an outstanding educational experience. University of Phoenix fit into my schedule; I did not have to leave my job to go back to college. I could go to school one night a week and earn a degree that would open doors for me down the road," Clayborn said. "All of my instructors have been great. I am extremely happy with my education at University of Phoenix and honored to address my fellow graduates."

Glenda Clayborn, along with George's father, Roy, and other family members saw George in a cap and gown for the first time when he served as a commencement speaker for the class of 2008. With the advent of distance learning in the 20 years since Clayborn received his high school diploma, he was searching for an online undergraduate program when he discovered a University of Phoenix campus near his Willard, MO, home.

"Every one of our graduates has a remarkable story to share—stories of dedication and persistence to achieve their educational goals. George's is one that we celebrate. He served his country, and years later his family witnessed his college commencement," Barnes added. "It is especially gratifying to help current and past military servicemen and servicewomen further their educational goals."

For more information, call (417) 887-5795 or (800) 697-8223 or visit www.phoenix.edu


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of August 31, 2008, 362,100 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.


Wendy Paul