students take a photo at the Daytona Campus 2017 graduation

Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach Campus Graduates Largest Fall Class in History

For the second year in a row, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus is graduating its largest fall class in the school’s history. This commencement will also see the most ever Ph.D. degrees awarded. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 17, at the Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach. The ceremony will be streamed live at

Based on the latest available numbers, the class of 2018 includes 540 students, representing the Colleges of Aviation, Arts & Sciences, Engineering and the David B. O’Maley College of Business, with 93 students receiving master’s degrees and 15 receiving Ph.Ds. 

Doctoral Degrees

Ph.D. candidates receiving doctoral degrees include: Anthony L. Baker and Sarah M. Sherwood, Human Factors; Jennifer N. Hunt, Robert W. Maxson, Greg M. Mellema, Isaac N. Munene, Arun P. Saini and Troy E. Techau, Aviation; Christopher James Hockley, Mechanical Engineering; Michael R. Borghi, Jr., Marco Coderoni, Kaveh Gharibi, Petr Kazarin, Vasileios S. Papapetrou and Nirmit Prabhakar, Aerospace Engineering.

Commencement Speaker

This year’s Fall Commencement Ceremony keynote address will be given by four-star General (USAF, Ret.) and Board of Trustees member Ronald Keys.

Board of Trustees member Ronald KeysKeys served 40 years in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed around the world including Asia and Europe. As a pilot, he logged more than 4,000 hours in the F-4, F-15, F-16 and A-10. In his last position as Commander of Air Combat Command, he was responsible for more than 1,200 aircraft, 27 wings, 17 bases, 200 operating locations worldwide and 105,000 personnel. Under his leadership, the Air Force’s first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Wing and first Network Warfare Wing were established.

At his retirement ceremony in 2007, Keys received the Air Force Association’s most prestigious annual award – the H.H. Arnold Award – for his significant contributions to national defense. He also received the Air Force’s first ROTC Distinguished Alumni Award.

Keys owns RK Solution Enterprises, an independent consultancy that works on a broad variety of Department of Defense (DOD) and non-DOD issues, advising numerous agencies and organizations on the topics of national security, cyber planning and operations, advanced technologies and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as energy security and climate change issues.

Keys holds a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and an MBA from Golden Gate University. He has participated in the National and International Security Seminar at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University, as well as the Leadership at the Peak program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs.

Commissioning and Master’s Hooding Ceremonies on the Daytona Beach Campus

The Fall 2018 graduating class includes 21 students receiving military commissions - seven from Air Force ROTC, six from Navy/Marine Corps ROTC and eight from Army ROTC.

Friday, Dec. 14

Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony – Eight cadets of the Eagle Battalion will take the oath of office to commission as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at 10 a.m. in the Jim W. Henderson Administration & Welcome Center. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony.

Sunday, Dec. 16

Master's Hooding Ceremony – The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in the ICI Center. Dr. Heidi Steinhauer, professor of engineering and chair of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals, is the featured speaker. A reception immediately following the ceremony will be held for students and their guests.

Air Force ROTC Commissioning Ceremony – Detachment 157 will commission seven cadets as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in the Capt. Willie Miller Instructional Center followed by a reception.

Catholic Mass in the Center for Faith and Spirituality, 7 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 17

The Fall Commencement Ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in the Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.

U.S. Navy/Marine Corps ROTC Commissioning Ceremony – Six graduating midshipmen will take the oath of office to commission as ensigns in the U.S. Navy or second lieutenants in the U.S. Marine Corps in a ceremony held in the Jim W. Henderson Administration & Welcome Center at 3 p.m. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony.

To accommodate all families and friends of graduates who are not able to attend the commencement ceremony, a live stream broadcast will be available online. The broadcast will also be available for a period of time thereafter at Past commencement events will also be viewable on demand.

For more details on the ceremonies, go to




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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, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at