Daytona Beach Campus Graduates Largest Class on Record

A total of 869 Eagles walked the stage to receive their diplomas at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach Campus 2019 Spring Commencement on Monday, May 6, at the Ocean Center, marking the largest class in campus history.

One notable grad, Rodrigo Bustamante — who emigrated from Peru with his parents at the age of 5, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at 17, served as an M1A1 tank operator in Afghanistan and earned his Bachelor of Science in Spaceflight Operations — represented one of the 737 students to earn undergraduate degrees at the event. 125 Eagles received master’s degrees, 7 received Ph.Ds, and 76 ROTC students received military commissions.

"Being at commencement is surreal — I have to remind myself to breathe and take in the moment,” Senior Class President Kari Lei Peterson told her peers before degrees were conferred. She cited the many new additions the Daytona Beach Campus has seen the past few years, including a new student union and new residence halls. "Change, my friends, is something we have regularly encountered at Embry-Riddle. ... (Change) is the only thing that brings progress."

Alumnus Dennis Jones (’80), a former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) senior official with 40 years of federal service, served as the commencement speaker.

“The class of 2019 is ever ready, always unlimited, and they will be seen,” he said.

The Spring 2019 graduating class also included an additional 395 Eagles from the Worldwide Campus, who participated in a separate commencement ceremony Saturday, May 4, at the ICI Center.

"If you are moving toward any goal worth achieving, there will be times when you'll be sure you have blown it,” President P. Barry Butler told the graduating class. “Today is the culmination of all the good days and all the bad days ... And there will be many more days worth celebrating to come."

See photos from the event.

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ABOUT EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.