University of Phoenix Holds Des Moines Commencement Ceremony

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Nationally known leadership expert and Phoenix graduate will serve as the keynote speaker at Saturday's commencement ceremony for some 100 Iowa graduates.

Dr. Jeff Kaplan, a member of the executive management team of Ferrazzi Greenlight Consulting and a doctoral graduate of University of Phoenix will serve as this year’s commencement speaker for University of Phoenix Des Moines campus graduation ceremony. Dr. Kaplan, who earlier this spring held a seminar for members of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, will focus his comments on the rapidly developing University of Phoenix community which consists of more than 500,000 graduates, 458,600 current students, 19,000 staff and 27,000 faculty nationwide. The commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2010.

This year’s event includes almost 100 Iowans earning associate, bachelors and masters degrees. Graduation is being held at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Avenue beginning at 10:00 a.m.

The speech will also announce a new program to provide University of Phoenix graduates and local business leaders an opportunity to learn how to tap into University of Phoenix’s community to literally build the future of their dreams. "You've invested in University of Phoenix, now let University of Phoenix invest in you," Kaplan will say in his speech. The national program began rolling out in June, starting with the Southern California campus, where more than 500 University of Phoenix graduates attended the first event. While Iowa wasn't slated to participate in the 2010 rollout, Kaplan, a recent Iowa transplant is committed to offering the program locally. The program dubbed, "Project Iowa" will launch the day of graduation, will run until June 2011 and is open to all University of Phoenix alumni, students, staff, faculty, business partners and the general public in the communities we serve.

Over the course of the next year, Kaplan will document building his network as a new Iowan and invites others to build their networks right along- side him. Material will be posted for people to use in crafting their own network.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our graduates,” said Chris Mason, the campus director at University of Phoenix Des Moines campus. “We are thrilled to welcome them into the University of Phoenix family and sharing a common experience through this program with a million people is tremendous.”

Dr. Kaplan started his own business with a $1500 investment that grew to an international concern. He is head of the Leadership Development and Training practice and manages the Greenlight Research Institute. Dr. Kaplan has taught graduate and undergraduate business courses at a number of universities and served as the Marketing Department Chair for the University of Phoenix – Southern California campus, where he earned a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.

This graduating class represents residents of the greater Des Moines metropolitan area as well as Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Sioux City, Fort Dodge, among others.

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