General Colin L. Powell, the 65 th Secretary of State, encouraged Kaplan University’s winter 2010 graduates to continue to reach new heights in their personal and professional development. He also applauded the University for leveraging technology to offer greater access to higher education, and pointed out the growing need to adapt to a new generation of students.

“You can improve yourselves using the incredible power of this revolution [in online education] …It’s how Kaplan University has grown and continues to grow. This revolution will speed through this country because of its effectiveness and power,” Gen. Powell told the graduates during the ceremony at the James L. Knight International Center in Miami. “Today celebrate your achievements; tomorrow get back online and determine what you are going to do next.”

Gen. Powell, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the founding Chairman of America’s Promise—The Alliance for Youth, is a life-long advocate for education. As this country’s first African-American Secretary of State and the first to hold the nation’s highest military post, Gen. Powell shared his story of dedication, drive and leadership. During his address, he described how he used education as a stepping stone to overcome obstacles and become one of today’s most respected leaders.

Since 2001, when the University began offering online degrees, more than 22,000 Kaplan University graduates have used their education to enhance careers, start new careers and meet personal goals. Gen. Powell’s message was particularly poignant for the University’s winter 2010 military graduates, who included hundreds of active military service members, their spouses and veterans. Forty-five of them attended the ceremony, joining nearly 500 others who strode across the stage to collect their degrees and shake hands with the faculty. Most of the graduates met their peers and professors face-to-face for the first time at the graduation. Hundreds of others participated in the University’s first-ever live webcast, viewing the ceremony from their homes.

Among the graduates was Lisa Evert, a straight-A student from San Antonio, Texas, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Evert, a business consultant, overcame a debilitating illness and major surgery that almost kept her from pursuing her degree. She was selected from an impressive group of graduates to share her story of perseverance and academic success during the student commencement address.

“I was gifted a second chance at life and my journey led me to Kaplan University,” said Evert. “The gifts I have received here, I would never have been able to attain had it not been for the online learning environment Kaplan provided.”

Wade Dyke, Ph.D., the Interim President of Kaplan University, praised Evert and her peers for their continued dedication to higher education.

“At no time in our nation’s history has the need for a better educated workforce been greater,” Dyke said. “All of our students have both the potential and the aspiration to be more than they are. Our students are looking for an educational path that allows them to achieve their goals, on their terms in non-traditional ways. Congratulations graduates on a job well done.”

In addition to recognizing the students’ accomplishments, the University also acknowledged two faculty members, Patricia Baughman of the College of Arts & Sciences and Monique Chiacchia of the School of Legal Studies, who earned Outstanding Faculty Awards for their commitment to their students and colleagues.

Kaplan hosts two graduations per year for its fully online students; one in Chicago and the other in South Florida. The University also has 10 campuses in Iowa, Nebraska and Maryland that host graduations throughout the year.

About Kaplan University

Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher education. It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. Based in Davenport, Iowa, the University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Kaplan University offers more than 125 academic programs and serves more than 63,000 online and campus-based students. In addition to its online operations, the University has 10 campuses in Iowa, Nebraska and Maryland.

Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education, which serves more than 100,000 students online and through more than 70 campus-based schools across the United States and abroad. Kaplan Higher Education schools offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from certificates and diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a juris doctor degree. Kaplan Higher Education is part of Kaplan, Inc., a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan serves students of all ages through a wide array of offerings including higher education, test preparation, professional training and programs for kids in grades K through 12. Kaplan, Inc. is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO), and its largest and fastest-growing division. For more information about Kaplan University, visit

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