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Sumner County residents to walk in WGU Tennessee commencement

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Seven Sumner County residents will receive degrees at WGU Tennessee's fourth commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.

Those students are: Sarah Apedaile, Master of Science, Nursing - Leadership and Management;

Janette Linder, Master of Science, Nursing - Leadership and Management; Henry Ovbiebo, MBA, IT Management; Thomas Patterson, Bachelor of Science, Business - Information Technology Management;

Jamie Riggsbee, Master of Science, Nursing - Leadership and Management; Monica Sale, Bachelor of Science, Nursing and Emily Templeton, Bachelor of Science, Health Informatics.

"We want to congratulate each of the 620 graduates and the 202 graduates participating in our fourth commencement and can't wait to celebrate with them," said Dr. Kimberly K. Estep, chancellor of WGU Tennessee. "Honoring our graduates' hard work and dedication is my favorite moment year after year."

Speakers will include Gov. Bill Haslam, who will give the commencement address, and four members of the graduating class.

Earlier this year, the state-endorsed, nonprofit online university celebrated its four-year anniversary. WGU Tennessee was launched as part of Haslam's Drive to 55 initiative in 2013 and has already awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to Tennesseans. In keeping with the university's commitment to affordability, WGU's leadership recently announced that tuition rates will not increase in 2017.

"We've made great progress in just four years and now have nearly 3,350 enrolled students, which speaks to our program's quality and flexibility," Estep said. "It's been our mission to help Tennesseans further their education, and people are responding to that mission in ever-increasing numbers."

WGU Tennessee enrolls students into its programs each month. Tuition is about $3,000 for a six-month term, during which students can complete an unlimited amount of coursework. Those interested in learning more can visit

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