National University

San Diego Commencement Draws More than 7,000

Alumnus Evan Gaddis serves as keynote speaker

An audience of approximately 7,300 people filled the San Diego Convention Center on Thursday, May 26, as 1,482 National University graduates and credential completers from across Southern California attended a landmark commencement ceremony.

The Class of 2011 completed their education on the 40th Anniversary of National University’s founding.

“For 40 years our mission has been to provide a new alternative to public universities and for-profit institutions of higher learning. Year after year, we’ve reinforced that commitment. The New Alternative is now the New Traditional—the new standard by which higher education is judged.”

Comprising the Class of 2011 were 848 graduates receiving master’s degrees, 622 graduates receiving their bachelor’s degree, and 12 individuals receiving their associate’s degree. Eight percent of graduates were active duty military, and 123 graduates were international students, representing 23 nations around the globe.

“You’re leaving today with an important symbol of your achievement,” President Potter added. “But we hope graduation doesn’t represent an end to our relationship. After you leave today, we encourage you to stay connected with us through our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. A thriving alumni community means a strong and vibrant National University for all the classes that follow you.”

Distinguished Alumnus Evan Gaddis, (Master of Education 2003) served as keynote speaker. Earning a Master’s degree while he served in the U.S. Army, Gaddis advanced from a captain responsible for recruiting in San Diego, to become a Major General serving as commander of all Army recruiting.

Gaddis retired from the Army in 2001 and was later selected to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), a trade association for the electrical manufacturing industry. In that role, he currently promotes the competitiveness of the U.S. electrical product industry through the development of standards, advocacy in federal and state legislatures and executive agencies, and the collection and analysis of economic data.

NEMA was named by Congress in the 2007 Energy Act as an official partner with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the development of a “Smart Grid.”