Nearly 1,500 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students will earn degrees at the spring 2022 commencement ceremonies for the Daytona Beach, Florida, and Worldwide campuses this May. Polaris Dawn Commander Jared Isaacman will serve as the keynote speaker at the Worldwide Campus event. Live streams of each event will be available for those who cannot make it in person.
Daytona Beach Campus
A total of 1,026 students will walk the stage in the Daytona Beach Campus commencement, 876 of whom will earn undergraduate degrees, 140 of whom will earn master’s degrees and 10 of whom will earn doctoral degrees.
Twenty-nine ROTC cadets from Embry-Riddle will also commission into the U.S. Army at the event; 36 will commission into the Air Force; 14 into the Navy; nine into the Marines; and one into the U.S. Space Force.
One especially notable graduate is Angel Thomas, an Aeronautics major who has transcended extraordinary circumstances in her personal life to become a role model for young girls. As an infant, Thomas was abandoned by her birth mother. Today, she is set to earn her diploma as president of her graduating class.
“You have to stay positive and learn to love yourself no matter what your situation,” she said. “Because it’s not where you’re coming from, it’s where you’re going to.” (Read more about Angel Thomas.)
The Honorable Charles F. Bolden Jr, former NASA administrator and U.S. Marine Corps Major General, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Daytona Beach Campus undergraduate commencement ceremony. During his career as an astronaut, Bolden flew on four space shuttle missions, logging over 680 hours in space. He piloted Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986 and Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990 – the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. He also served as commander on Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1992, and Space Shuttle Discovery in 1994.
The undergraduate commencement ceremony, for bachelor and associate degree-earning graduates, will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 9, at the Ocean Center, in Daytona Beach, Florida. The graduate ceremony, for master’s and Ph.D. students, will be held at 4 p.m. in the same location. (More information about the events and speakers is available online. A livestream of both ceremonies will also be available.)
The Worldwide Campus will welcome alumnus Jared Isaacman (’11) — who recently led the first all-civilian space mission and is currently preparing to serve as commander of the Polaris Dawn mission — to serve as the keynote speaker at this year’s commencement ceremony, to be hosted Saturday, May 14, at the ICI Center on Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus.
In addition to previously leading the Inspiration4 mission, which raised more than $240 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Isaacman is also CEO of Shift4 and founder of Draken International. The Polaris Dawn mission will similarly work to advance scientific research to improve human health on Earth, and it has partnered with Embry-Riddle to develop a multi-camera system to capture the first commercial spacewalk in human history. Isaacman visited Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus last month to tour campus and talk with students.
A total of 471 students will earn diplomas at the Worldwide Campus commencement ceremony, 252 of whom are graduate students and 219 are undergraduates.
“Having an alumnus of such esteem as Mr. Isaacman speak at commencement will be a real privilege for this year’s graduating class,” said Dr. John R. Watret, campus chancellor. “Beyond being an Eagle, Isaacman has broken corporate boundaries, made commercial space history and recently expanded his relationship with Embry-Riddle to offer current students a hands-on role in the Polaris Program. He is living proof that there are limitless opportunities out there for those who dream big.”
The Worldwide Campus ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14. The Master’s Hooding will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, May 13. More information and links to stream the event live are available online.