Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead, Commander of the Maryland Army National Guard, to Deliver Keynote Address at University of Maryland Global Campus Virtual Stateside Commencement, Saturday, May 15

Birckhead Led All National Guard Troops Deployed at the U.S. Capitol During the Presidential Inauguration and Heads Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s Vaccine Equity Task Force 

Adelphi, Md. (April 27, 2021)—University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the nation’s largest online public university, will host a virtual commencement ceremony on May 15 at noon. 

Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead

Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Maryland Army National Guard and a graduate of UMGC, will provide the commencement keynote address. Brig. Gen. Birckhead has a distinguished 30-year military career, including recently leading all National Guard troops deployed at the U.S. Capitol following the failed insurrection on January 6 and for the January 20 presidential inauguration. She was also selected by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to lead the state’s vaccine equity task force. 

Raymond Fisher, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who traces his family history on his mother’s side to a slave owned by George Washington and who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in information systems management after a 25-year journey, will give an address on behalf of the graduating class. 

The commencement website also includes the conferral of degrees by UMGC President Gregory W. Fowler and a virtual greeting from Governor Hogan. In addition, the site features a section comprising the names of graduates with their photos and inspirational messages and messages of congratulations from UMGC faculty, staff members and friends. 

UMGC holds separate commencement ceremonies annually in Europe and Asia, to accommodate graduates who are serving in the military overseas. 

Here is a snapshot of UMGC graduates for 2020-21: 

Total number of graduates worldwide: 13,171 

Location of our graduates:  All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and 32 countries and territories. 

Youngest graduate: 17 years old 

Oldest graduate:  78 years old 

Average age: 35 years old 

About University of Maryland Global Campus 

University of Maryland Global Campus (formerly University of Maryland University College) is a world leader in innovative educational models, with award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace.  

With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, UMGC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of students whose responsibilities may include jobs, family, and military service. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, including doctoral programs.  

A pioneer in distance education since 1947, UMGC today is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver high quality, low cost, accessible higher education.  

In 1949, UMGC became the first institution to send faculty overseas to teach active-duty military personnel at installations in Europe. The university expanded overseas operations to Asia in 1956 and to the Middle East in 2005. UMGC faculty have taught in the war zones of Vietnam, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.  

UMGC now offers classes to military service personnel and their families at more than 175 locations in more than 20 countries. Today, more than half of the university’s students are active-duty military personnel and their families, members of the National Guard and veterans.  

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UMGC Asia to Host Virtual Commencement Ceremony, April 24

University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) will honor 1,114 graduates at its virtual Asia commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 24. The commencement website will be available beginning at 10:00 a.m. on commencement day.

The ceremony will feature keynote speaker, Charles K. Hyde, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force (Ret.). He is vice president for the Pacific Region of the United Service Organization. UMGC President Gregory Fowler; Jim Cronin, vice president and director of UMGC Asia; and Amanda Maguire, associate vice president and deputy director of UMGC Asia will be providing remarks as well.

A special congratulatory message from the UMGC Asia staff and faculty will be presented to the graduating class, along with tributes from the university’s Office of Academic Affairs. The virtual commencement page will showcase a multimedia gallery that will list each graduate’s name and degree, and will remain available on the UMGC Asia website until April 1, 2022.

For more information about the UMGC Asia commencement ceremony, please visit https://asia.umgc.edu/commencement/2021-virtual-ceremony.cfm

Prince George’s County Executive Alsobrooks Commends UMGC’s New Class of Leaders at 2020 Winter Commencement

“I’m not just addressing graduates, I’m addressing a class of leaders,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks told University of Maryland Global Campus degree recipients in a commencement address delivered via video during the university’s 2020 virtual winter commencement program, which launched Saturday, Dec. 19.Continue Reading

Inspiring Messages Come Out on Top (Literally) at UMGC Winter Commencement

The University of Maryland Global Campus Class of 2020 winter graduates attended commencement virtually this year, but that did not stop them from celebrating. Each year, the mortarboards atop graduation caps are adorned by inspired grads, showing their creativity and telling the story of their individual educational journey. This year was not any different. Several weeks prior to the virtual commencement ceremony, graduates were invited to participate in a cap decorating challenge.

Invitations went out to UMGC winter graduates and voting opened on Nov. 18. Grads were able to share their entries on their social media channels to encourage their friends and family to vote for their cap. Voting was encouraged throughout the challenge period, which ended on Dec. 16. Anyone could vote once per cap in a 24-hour period and return to vote again after 24 hours. With 91 caps entered, these graduates collectively gathered 17,897 votes. 

The winner was announced on Dec. 19, the morning of virtual commencement, and was featured on the UMGC virtual commencement website. Marcus Johnson received 4,256 votes for his inspired cap featuring the phrase, “Smart Enough to Save the Day.” Michelle Freeman’s cap took second place with 3,181 votes and Christina Holt’s cap gathered 2,560 votes to place third.

Freeman said the creation of her cap was a family effort; she got help from her niece and nephew to complete it. “I thought this was a great gesture on behalf of the university to get us excited about our ceremony. Although we could not have a formal ceremony due to the pandemic, this friendly competition built up momentum day by day to our virtual ceremony,” she shared.

Holt, who encouraged people to vote for her through her social media channels, said she entered the competition to showcase her crochet artistry.  “I am amazed at how many people came forward to support me during this competition and I am appreciative of every vote I received!”

While Johnson has bragging rights and is featured at the virtual commencement ceremony, all participating graduates are winners, finishing 2020 with a milestone accomplishment.

Student Commencement Speaker Advocates Lifelong Learning

Susana Hernandez brought good grades home from her Maryland high school, but school officials never nudged her toward college. Her immigrant parents wanted her to continue studying, but they didn’t know how the U.S. higher education system worked. Hernandez, a teenager at the time, was daunted by scholarship and financial aid applications.

It took Hernandez 15 years after her high school graduation to return to a classroom—at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)—pursuing a Bachelor of Science in business management, with a minor in small business entrepreneurship. At UMGC’s 2020 Virtual Winter Commencement, not only will Hernandez graduate cum laude and as a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Tau Chapter Honor Society, but she will give the student commencement speech.  Continue Reading

Pillars of Strength Scholar Finds Silver Linings in the Pandemic

For Lauren Warner, the agony of the Coronavirus pandemic has had at least a couple of silver linings.

Warner, who cares for her wounded Army veteran husband, completed a UMGC Master of Science degree in management this semester with the financial help of a Pillars of Strength scholarship aimed at caregivers like her.Continue Reading

University of Maryland Global Campus to Host Virtual Winter Commencement 2020

Online Ceremony to Include Keynote Address by Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks

Program to Go Live Beginning Saturday, Dec. 19, at 12 p.m. EST

Adelphi, Md. (Dec. 7) — University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the nation’s largest online public university will premiere its special 2020 Virtual Winter Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 19, beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern standard time. The approximately 25-minute program, which honors the more than 7,500 stateside graduates worldwide who completed their degree requirements in summer or fall 2020, will be available for on-demand viewing by graduates, their families and friends anytime—and from anywhere.Continue Reading

Gov. Hogan Says Grads Will Make Post-Pandemic Maryland Stronger, Better

His Keynote Is Part of University’s First-Ever Virtual Commencement Launched May 16

“This is certainly not the graduation day that any of you anticipated or hoped for, but it in no way lessens your accomplishments or diminishes your achievements,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in a commencement address to University of Maryland Global Campus graduates delivered via video during the university’s first-ever virtual commencement ceremony, which launched Saturday, May 16.Continue Reading

Baltimore Firefighter’s Perseverance Pays Off

Michael Kelly finished his college career nine years after starting at University of Maryland Global Campus in a most untraditional way—by taking a class required of incoming freshmen. And, he did it as a first responder, a firefighter/paramedic on the front lines of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, working in one of Baltimore’s toughest neighborhoods.Continue Reading

Overcoming ‘Dark Times’ to Earn a Degree

Like many students at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), Nneka Nzegwu completed her studies while working at a full-time job and taking care of a child. When she talks about the obstacles she faced while earning her degree, however, she is referring to something far more complicated.Continue Reading