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On Friday, April 27, 2012, National Defense University (NDU) iCollege students were honored with 324 graduate certificates in the following information technology leadership disciplines: Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Information Technology Program Management (ITPM), Enterprise Architecture (EA), Information Assurance (IA), Government Strategic Leader (GSL), and Advanced Management Program (AMP) in a formal ceremony held at the college, located at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. The graduates represented the U.S. Military (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Reserve branches), federal agencies, private sector, and international defense ministries.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael W. Bartlett, Jr., USA, NDU iCollege Systems and Technology Department professor was the Master of Ceremonies. He gave the Invocation, Benediction, and he announced the arrival of the ceremonial Parade of Colors presented by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard of the Military District of Washington. He then introduced the arrival of graduates, the official NDU party, and the Chancellor of the NDU iCollege, Dr. Robert D. Childs.
Dr. Childs stood at the podium and congratulated the students and their families. He also paid tribute to the NDU iCollege faculty and the staff. He told the graduates, “Be proud to be among 16,000 iCollege graduates and alumni. Take what you learned here and the relationships you’ve built, and continue to seek out and foster global partners within the government, private sector, and with international coalition members. Strive to collaborate -- this is critically important for the expansion of an enterprise. And, embrace technology; amidst downsizing and budget constraints. By doing this -- you will make an impact on reshaping future organizations.”
Special guest commencement speaker, Robert F. Hale, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and the DoD CFO, is the principal advisor to Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta on all budgetary and fiscal matters, including the development and execution of the Defense Department's annual budget. In his graduation remarks, Mr. Hale explained to the audience a few of the challenges facing the DoD. Mr. Hale commented that DoD is truly HUGE. Roughly, $600 billion dollars of U.S. taxpayers' money is spent annually. He then spoke to the graduates about their roles at their agencies. "Let me first, congratulate all of you on your achievements," Hale said. As you return to your jobs, return with confidence. The responsibility you bear will seem heavy at times; however understand this -- we cannot manage without your efforts to lead and align IT systems in support of the public, our private industry partners, and in support of the brave men and women who, as we speak, are fighting in Afghanistan." Mr. Hale recommended four foundations: 1) Expect the unexpected and plan for it; 2) Balance risks and the benefits; 3) People are key; and 4) Live up to the challenges. Be a contributor.
Dr. Childs then announced a new NDU iCollege recognition program for outstanding alumni and key advocates of the College: The NDU iCollege Hall of Fame Award. This year’s inductee is Mr. Steve Cooper, Acting Chief Information Officer, at the Federal Aviation Administration. “Steve has taken many of our courses; he’s shared his insights as a guest speaker, and he was a key supporter of the Government Information Leadership (GIL) Master’s Degree approval process in December 2010. For this and more, I am pleased to announce Mr. Steven Cooper is our first Hall of Fame winner!” Dr. Childs accepted the award on behalf of Mr. Cooper.
Additionally, several of the NDU iCollege’s private sector partners presented honorary awards to distinguished graduates as follows:
After the ceremony, students, family members, VIPs, and the college staff, enjoyed a reception in honor of the graduates. The reception was sponsored by the NDU Foundation.
The NDU iCollege holds its annual certificate graduation ceremony each April. The college’s Master’s Degree graduates, however, will join the NDU Graduation in June 2012.