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Rasmussen University Celebrates First In-Person Graduation Ceremony Since the COVID Shutdown at Roy Wilkins Auditorium on June 18

Responding to the critical nursing shortage, graduates from the School of Nursing comprise over 50 percent of Rasmussen’s Twin Cities-area graduates

Rasmussen University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, will celebrate an in-person Twin Cities metro graduation ceremony. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul, Minn. Approximately 700 students from 2021 and 2022 have registered for this event, making it one of the largest graduations in recent history.

“We are thrilled for the Rasmussen University graduates who completed their degrees over the past year,” said Carrie Daninhirsch, vice president of Academic Affairs at Rasmussen University. “This impressive group of students persevered and prioritized their education in a particularly challenging and uncertain time. Now, we can support and celebrate them safely as they bring their experience, skills and confidence into their communities and the fields that need it most, like healthcare, business and education.”

One of the fields in great demand is nursing. With the unprecedented strain of COVID-19 on hospital staff, and nearly a third of the nursing population nearing retirement age, the American Hospital Association estimates that the nursing shortage will reach 1.1 million nurses in 2022. Answering the urgent call to this profession, over 50 percent of Rasmussen graduates from the four Twin Cities campuses are from the School of Nursing.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our nursing graduates who are entering the field in a time of great need,” said Dr. Joan Rich, vice president of the School of Nursing at Rasmussen University. “The rigors of our nursing program are challenging under any circumstances. Our nursing students did so under the added pressures of a global pandemic and demonstrates the dedication, perseverance and resilience it takes to be a nurse.”

Also participating in the ceremony are graduates from Business, Design, Education, Health Sciences, Justice Studies and Technology, including nearly fifty individuals that will graduate with a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Healthcare Administration.

Commencement Speakers

Miguel Ramos, senior director of Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for the Minnesota Twins, will deliver the keynote address. Ramos uses his personal background and wealth of multicultural marketing experience to develop more culturally diverse programming, integration, and stronger relationships across the race and gender spectrums. Ramos is a tireless community champion—sitting on several philanthropic boards and lending his expertise to non-profits and like-minded people who believe in his philosophy of hard work and community.

Kumba Phillips, a graduate of the Professional Nursing Associate’s degree program, will deliver the student address. Phillips is a graduate of the Blaine campus. She is passionate about helping and caring for others and aspires to be a labor and delivery nurse.

Benjamin Feinberg, General Education assistant professor for Rasmussen’s Northern Online Campus, will deliver the faculty address. Feinberg has been with Rasmussen since 2010 and in the field of education for over 15 years. He holds a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from the City College of New York and a Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of West Florida.

Event Details

The ceremony will follow the COVID-19 policies enforced at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, which can be found in detail here. In addition, the venue continues to practice prescribed cleaning and sanitizing processes to ensure the safety of all guests in the facility.

The ceremony will be live-streamed on Rasmussen’s Bloomington campus Facebook page:

For more information, please visit


Rasmussen University, a university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through innovative and flexible educational programs. As a pioneer in career-focused education since 1900, the University is defining a new generation of higher education that focuses on competency-based education, technology and transferrable skills. Rasmussen offers undergraduate and graduate programs online and in person at 23 campuses around the country. The University is designed to lift and support its students every step of the way, from each student’s first credential to their last. Rasmussen is dedicated to global enrichment, serving the underserved and meeting the evolving needs of diverse students, communities and economies. Rasmussen encourages its students, faculty and staff to strive for academic excellence, community enrichment and service to the public good. For more information about Rasmussen University, please visit


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