Inaugural National University Grad Walk Gives Students a More Personal Option for Celebrating Commencement

Graduates to be greeted by former San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance Carroll, an education innovator and advocate

SAN DIEGO, CA (January 19, 2023)National University (NU) — a nonprofit Minority Serving Institution that serves 50,000 degree-seeking students and 80,000 workforce and professional development students annually — today announced it will hold its inaugural NU Grad Walk events later this month, offering students and their supporters a more intimate option for celebrating the life-changing achievement of earning their degrees.

“At National University, we continually strive and innovate to improve the student experience,” said Dr. Mark D. Milliron, NU president and CEO. “NU Grad Walk takes a fresh look at commencement. It gives our students the choice of scheduling a specific time and then going through a more personal graduation ceremony with their friends and families with them every step of the way, rather than participating in the large-scale commencement ceremony we hold each year.”

The sign-up process is currently underway, and NU expects up to 1,000 students and guests to attend this first-time set of NU Grad Walk events on January 27 and 28 at Sharp Prebys Innovation and Education Center in San Diego. Graduates choose a timeslot, then step through the commencement ceremony surrounded by their supporters, with plenty of opportunities to take pictures along the way. The final stop is a celebration room, where the groups come together and share their success with fellow students, faculty, alumni, and leadership from NU.

As part of this inaugural NU Grad Walk, graduates will be greeted by a celebratory video featuring local education innovator and advocate Dr. Constance Carroll, former chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, who will also receive an honorary doctorate from National University. As a tireless advocate for improving education and providing service to learners who face obstacles in their pursuit of higher education, Dr. Carroll epitomizes NU’s mission to deliver accessible world-class student experiences by providing quality programs and services that ensure student success through meaningful learning. And as a person who overcame her own challenges and then became a change-making leader in higher education and the arts, she sets an admirable example for NU students, most of whom are non-traditional learners with many demands on their time and attention.

NU will also hold a more traditional commencement ceremony this year, which will occur on May 18 at Petco Park in Downtown San Diego. Several thousand graduates and approximately 20,000 of their friends and family are expected to take part in that event.

While NU makes its headquarters in San Diego, students from throughout California, the nation, and the world attend classes, which occur mostly online. Founded in San Diego in 1971 by a former U.S. Navy captain, NU boasts 230,000 alumni worldwide.

NU is an access and success innovator with an extremely diverse student population of non-traditional and underserved learners from many walks of life, and approximately half of our undergraduates are active-duty military, Veterans, and their dependents. NU is the largest conferrer of graduate degrees to minority students in the U.S., with more than 50 percent of graduates being women. We are the third largest conferrer of doctoral degrees overall. NU is one of the largest private Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) in the United States. Two-thirds of our students and graduates are Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC).

About National University: National University, a Veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 190+ online and on-campus programs with flexible four-week and eight-week classes and one-to-one graduate education models designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to 130,000 learners served per year—50,000 degree-seeking students and 80,000 workforce and professional development students—and 230,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. To learn more about National University’s new possibilities in education including next-generation education, value-rich education, and whole human education, visit

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