ASU graduates

The holidays aren’t the only thing to celebrate this month

By

Meenah Rincon

Arizona State University will confer degrees to more than 8,400 full-immersion and online students on Monday, Dec. 16, celebrating and highlighting their achievements at the Desert Financial Arena in Tempe. Nearly half of those graduates are Arizona residents.

RELATED: The full schedule of ceremonies starting Saturday, Dec. 14. 

Of those more than 8,400 students receiving a degree next week, more than 6,100 are undergraduates.

Approximately 14,000 guests attend the commencement ceremony each year. For those who are unable to join in person, the university will livestream the event, allowing friends and family from around the globe to partake in the graduation celebrations. As many as 17,500 devices streamed the spring 2019 ceremonies.

Nearly half of this December's graduating students self-identify as minorities and underrepresented populations. The university hosts ceremonies to recognize their accomplishments including the International Student Stole Ceremony, Rainbow Convocation, Asian/Asian Pacific-American Convocation, Black African Convocation, Hispanic Convocation and American Indian Convocation.

Related: Special-interest convocations take place throughout the week.

With more than 300 on-campus and ASU Online degree offerings, ASU is able to provide access to quality, affordable education, regardless of location or life circumstances. The degrees are tailored to equip students to be knowledgeable and succeed in their chosen career paths while also preparing them for an ever-evolving job market.

After a series of tough personal downturns, Nakia Gorden was looking for a fresh start. He arrived at ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts to pursue a degree in U.S. history and African American studies on a path to become an educator.

“ASU introduced me to the possibilities of success through education,” Gorden said. “It made my dreams of becoming an educator realistic and pushed me to believe that I could change a student's life.”

In the most recent stats available, more than 90% of undergraduate and graduate students were employed or received at least one job offer within 90 days after graduation. Students have various resources, including ASU Career and Professional Development Services, which support students with tools to find internships and jobs, bolstering their resume and professional experience before they graduate.

With his chapter at ASU complete, Gorden isn’t bidding farewell to the Grand Canyon state. He will continue to call Arizona home.

RELATED: ASU grads make billion-dollar impact on Arizona economy.

Like many other graduates before him, Gorden has career plans in place before turning his tassel. He is pursuing a career as a high school English teacher and, in true philanthropic Sun Devil fashion, he is already planning to join Teach for America in the upcoming year.

As for what our future students can learn from our graduates? Gorden will tell you to fight — and it’s not just a reference in the ASU fight song

“Fight through the tough moments,” he said. “Fight through loneliness. Fight through financial difficulty. Fight for your future. Allow your fears to be uprooted by your resilience in life's most difficult moments.”

MORE: Learn more about ASU’s fall graduates in our profile roundup.