NORCROSS, Ga. – After all the tassels had been turned, hashtags shared, and ticket stubs tallied, the 2018 James Madison High School Commencement Ceremony was the school’s largest graduation event ever.
The online school’s first commencement ceremony was held on Aug. 4, 2007 in the ballroom of the Hilton Atlanta Northeast with approximately 115 graduates attending the live event. In order to manage the size of that crowd, the event was split into two back-to-back ceremonies–one for high school graduates and one for college graduates.
Comparatively, only 11 years later, the 2018 Commencement Ceremony packed Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre theater and welcomed close to 3,000 graduates and guests from around the world. David Nour, author, global speaker, and CEO of global consulting firm The Nour Group, Inc., delivered the keynote address.
A few academic highlights from the event:
In a LinkedIn post reviewing the experience, Ashworth College President Rob Klapper said, “The commencement ceremony was awe-inspiring. I am so moved by the accomplishments, optimism and unbridled joy of our students. Speaking with so many graduates, and hearing the obstacles they have overcome to earn their certificate, diploma, or degree, reinforced the difference education can make in the lives of our students.”
To highlight the geographic reach of James Madison High School, 1 student traveled from Turks and Caicos Islands and 197 students represented the following states:
“This event is so important to us,” said Ashworth College Chief Academic Officer Christine Jax, “because it brings together students from different parts of the world to celebrate their shared experience of overcoming an academic challenge. It’s something families always want to celebrate together and though all the studies were done online, the physical experience of walking the stage for that diploma helps graduates cement this milestone in their lives.”
Ashworth College hosts its commencement event annually. Graduates of all the online schools under its umbrella are invited to participate regardless of the year they officially graduated. In addition to the ceremony itself, the day-long event typically includes a professional portrait photographer, social media activities, rehearsal time, and a light reception. Information about next year’s event will be made available on www.jmhs.com/student-life/graduation/.
James Madison High School is a regionally-accredited online institution that provides flexible and affordable high school education to students around the world. Areas of education include College Prep Diploma and General Diploma programs, NCAA-eligible courses, and single courses. Additionally, through a partnership with the Georgia Student Finance Commission, all JMHS students are eligible for Dual Enrollment, a fully-funded program of college-level courses through which they can earn high school and college credits simultaneously. For more information, visit www.jmhs.com.
JMHS is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
James Madison High School