Celebrating Success: Grantham Class of 2021’s Virtual Commencement

By Brandon Swenson July 29, 2021


Join us July 31, 2021, to celebrate our graduates and their achievements!


At UA Grantham, we’re incredibly proud of the effort, persistence, determination, and achievements of our students. Some come to achieve the life-long dream of going to college. Some come for an education that will help them for what's next. Others pursue certificate programs for the same reason. They all have stories to tell.

This weekend, for those who stuck to their online degree programs and earned the grades, they’ll have a new story to tell—the one where they get to tell friends and family how they graduated and earned their college degrees.

Join us July 31 at 2 p.m. (CDT) as we celebrate our graduates with our 2021 Virtual Commencement.


Class of 2021—Just the Facts


The 2,182 members of our 2021 graduating class will see 2,184 degrees conferred. That’s 2,184 credentials that help define focuses in areas ranging from healthcare, nursing, humanities, and business to engineering, computer science, and technology. From our youngest grad (21) to our most senior student (72) in over 50 states and across five countries, each one has dedicated the time, resources, and effort to take on the title of college graduate.

Each has a new story to tell.

Check out this infographic for a snapshot of the Class of 2021.


Class of 2021—Outstanding Grad


Our virtual commencement will feature several exceptional speakers, including Michael Aliamus, our alumni speaker. After 33 years in the aerospace industry and working himself up to the position of Senior Distinguished Engineer, Spacecraft Architect, he was able to fulfill a life goal. Last January, he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology from Grantham.

Tune in to the commencement ceremonies to learn how his oldest daughter encouraged him to take the plunge and finish his degree, what it took to accomplish this goal, and his plans for the future.

Michael has a story to tell.

Get a head start on his story with this short video.


Class of 2021—Outstanding Keynote Speaker


Mary Kelly, PhD, CSP, CDR, US Navy (Ret.) understands the value of an education—especially one that sets students up for success in the future. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy, a master’s in economics, a master’s in history and foreign policy, and a PhD in economics. In the Navy, she served as an intelligence officer. She taught for the Air Force Academy. She’s an author, a world-renowned economist, and a respected authority on leadership.

Tune in to Grantham’s virtual commencement to hear her message of resiliency and her tips on business, education, leadership and more from Dr. Mary Kelly, CEO of Productive Leaders.

Dr. Kelly has a story to tell.

See why she is one of the world’s leading keynote speakers.


Class of 2021—Alvarez Resilient Award


In 1964, U.S. Navy LTJG Everett Alvarez, Jr. was the first American aviator shot down over North Vietnam in what is known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident. He was taken prisoner on August 5 and held there as a POW for eight and a half years. Upon his release, Commander Everett Alvarez, Jr. (Ret.) would go on to serve his country in a number of ways in and out of the military, including posts as the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, the Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration, and more. He never gave up. He stays true to his mission in all things and in all ways.

Today, Grantham is proud of his continued service as a member of our Board of Governors. In his honor, we have developed the Commander Everett Alvarez, Jr. Resilience Scholarship. This scholarship program was developed to help servicemembers who, like Commander Alvarez, do not give up.

This year’s recipient—and the award’s first-ever recipient—is Danilo Arthurscott—a high-ranking military member. Aurthurscott balanced an active-duty career with homeschooling his children in the midst of a pandemic all while maintaining a 4.0 as a full-time student at Grantham on his way to earning a Master’s in Health Systems Management.

Tune in to our virtual commencement to gain an appreciation for the sacrifice, persistence, and, yes, resilience of all our students, including and especially Danilo Arthurscott.

Arthurscott has a story to tell, as does Commander Alvarez.

Learn more about Commander Alvarez’s amazing story in this short video.


Class of 2021—See the Stories; Share the Glory


Check out all the Grantham Graduation stories on your favorite social media sites. Search them out with #GranthamGrad21.

About the Author

Brandon Swenson
Brandon Swenson, communications manager, is on University of Arkansas Grantham’s editorial board. A veteran and college graduate himself, he understands the benefits and intricacies of government education programs, such as veteran education benefits. Brandon earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City toward the end of his nearly two-decade tour in the United States Marine Corps.
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