On June 4, 2023, Wilmington University awarded more than 2,240 academic degrees during its 52nd Commencement ceremony at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware.
Wilmington University’s inspirational Class of 2023 achieved their academic goals amid professional responsibilities and personal commitments.
“We offer sincere congratulations to our graduates,” said Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon. “We know they will embrace their communities and workplaces with renewed confidence and skills, and we look forward to learning about their future accomplishments.”
Graduates ranging in age from 18 to 73 hailed from 54 countries, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. More than 2,500 completed their degrees entirely online. The online graduating student residing the furthest distance from Delaware lives in New Zealand, while one graduate traveled from Hawaii to attend. All graduates immediately became members of Wilmington University’s Alumni Association, comprising 68,000 members.
Student commencement addresses depicted passion and persistence while being reflective of support and guidance from families, friends, faculty and staff.
Five ceremonies represented each WilmU college: Speakers included:
- Ms. Jill Agosto: M.S.N. in Nursing Leadership with an Educator concentration (College of Health Professions & Natural Sciences)
- Dr. Visty P. Dalal: Doctor of Education (College of Education & Liberal Arts)
- Victoria Mengoh: Master of Science in Information Systems Technologies (College of Technology)
- Dr. Dawn Paramore: Doctor of Social Science in Prevention Science (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences)
- Dr. Ashley Thomas: Doctor of Business Administration (College of Business)
Dr. Dawn Paramore, who graduated with a Doctor of Social Science in Prevention Science, represented WilmU’s College of Social & Behavioral Sciences class. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native is a licensed mental health therapist and the CEO of three mental health-related nonprofits. She is passionate about mental health issues and the importance of bringing awareness to children and their families.
Dr. Paramore reflected on the challenging journeys she and her fellow graduates endured while pursuing their degrees. “Many of us dared to dream of becoming college graduates while learning to navigate this thing called life,” she said. “We are single mothers and fathers. We’re wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons. Some of us returned after years of taking a break, while others plowed through academia, obtaining consecutive undergraduate and graduate degrees. … The same grit and determination that got us here will usher us through challenges yet to be seen within our careers.”
The same grit and determination that got us here will usher us through challenges yet to be seen within our careers.” — Dr. Dawn Paramore
Jill Agosto represented the College of Health Professions & Natural Sciences class. Ms. Agosto serves her community and has received multiple Daisy nominations, Star nominations for Excellence in Patient Care and Teamwork and a Torch Award for Excellence in Nursing Care. At WilmU, she graduated summa cum laude with a B.S.N. and then an M.S.N. in Nursing Leadership with an Educator concentration.
“We are all here because we never gave up,” Ms. Agosto said. “We never faltered in difficult times. Did we experience failures and struggles in our academic careers? Yes, absolutely. Those failures and difficulties do not define us. What defines us is what we did with those failures.”
We are all here because we never gave up.” — Jill Agosto
“All of us began our quest for knowledge and education from different regions of this wonderful country, ultimately making our way to Wilmington University,” said Speaker Dr. Visty P. Dalal during the College of Education & Liberal Arts ceremony. “The dedicated faculty left no stone unturned in ensuring that each one of us got the best the program could offer.
“They took great pride to see us advance in our thinking and comprehension of the challenges that lie ahead in academia today. … We are all better equipped and prepared today because of our training and education at Wilmington University. Now, the responsibility lies with us to forward our thinking for the betterment of society and for those who come after us.”
We are all better equipped and prepared today because of our training and education at Wilmington University.” — Dr. Visty P. Dalal
Wilmington University congratulates the Class of 2023.