Kent Mayor Dana Ralph will receive a master’s degree in business administration during Western Governors University’s (WGU) commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Sept. 7, at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
Ralph, in her second year as mayor, earned a WGU bachelor’s degree in 2015 and a master’s in management and leadership in 2016.
More than 13,000 people are anticipated to attend the university’s ceremony and there will be 1,450 graduates, including 1,000 from the state of Washington, according to a WGU press release. It will be the largest commencement in the university’s 22-years, including graduates from 43 states.
The master’s ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the bachelor’s ceremony will follow at 1:45 p.m. Sekou Andrews will deliver the commencement address. Andrews, a school teacher-turned-national poetry slam champion, is known as a leading poetic voice.
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education online, the nonprofit WGU serves more than 115,000 students nationwide and has more than 154,000 graduates in all 50 states.
All of WGU’s programs are competency-based, a learning model that focuses on measuring learning rather than time spent in class. This model, along with online access to courses, study materials and proctored assessments, means students are able to complete coursework on schedules that fit their lives rather than driven by a syllabus or class schedules.