Sounds of Success: Singers Set the Tone at DeVry and Keller 2024 Commencement Day

LISLE, Ill. – June 13, 2024 – As the notes of Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1" fill the air inside the Rosemont Theatre in Illinois, a hush falls over the crowd. Graduates begin their processional march, each step bringing them closer to the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. The music swells, and with it, a wave of emotions – joy, pride, nostalgia and anticipation of what lies ahead. Families and friends cheer as they spot their loved ones in the sea of caps and gowns.


Music has an unparalleled power to evoke meaning and create lasting memories. A commencement's soundtrack marks a major milestone, setting the tone for a celebratory, momentous occasion. The lyrics melodies become ingrained in graduates' minds, inextricably linked to their feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment.


This was certainly true at this year's ceremonies, which conferred degrees to more than two thousand graduates. After the graduates took their seats, Stacy Fox-Uwadiae and Christine Ridge sang a stirring duet of the National Anthem at DeVry's ceremony, while Tiffany Cosby sang an equally inspiring rendition solo at Keller's ceremony.


"This is a major moment for them, it's official!" said Tiffany, who sang in honor of DeVry graduates for a third time this year.


"I hope it reminds them of how hard they worked to get to where they are now," added Stacy, who has performed the National Anthem on various occasions for DeVry since 2011.


"Music as a universal language is my passion, and I hope the graduates feel inspired," said Christine, who has sung at nearly a dozen commencements for the university thus far.


All three women have worked at DeVry for the past two decades. Each also discovered their singing talents in childhood. "The first time Stacy and I combined our talents for a duet of the National Anthem, it was truly magical. We received an overwhelming response from the audience and our colleagues," recalled Christine. "Every ceremony is memorable when you consider the graduates and what they have accomplished," said Stacy.


Christine, Stacy and Tiffany's common passion for music's ability to transcend and unify is also intertwined with a belief in the transformative power of higher education.


"When I think of DeVry, I think of opportunity," said Tiffany, who started at DeVry as an admissions advisor in 2002 and has since held various positions in academics, operations, IT and the president's office. "For the students, when they've finished their degree, it's life-changing. I can relate to the adult learner that we cater to because I had that experience in my career," recalled Tiffany about a time when she cheered on graduates that she had previously helped to enroll at DeVry and who ultimately inspired her to finish her master's degree.


"Higher education is an equalizer, it levels the playing field for our students," she added.


For Stacy, higher education amplifies her enjoyment of teamwork and passion for learning: "The fact that we all work together with the same goal in mind, which is to assist the students in the best way possible, is why I'm here at DeVry."


Christine, who works with students on their education and career goals, agrees, "I am a teacher at heart," she said. "When students reach out with an interest to better themselves, it inspires me to help them reach their potential."

For all three women, working – and singing – in higher education is ultimately about positively impacting others. Their sage advice to the outgoing class of 2024:


"Always turn your fear into motivation," said Christine.


"The best person to believe in is you. Trust me, those around you are still trying to figure things out too," added Stacy.


"There's so much external to you, telling you what you can't be, do or have. Remember to show people what possibilities exist," offered Tiffany.

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About DeVry University 

DeVry University strives to close society’s opportunity gap and address emerging talent needs by preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online in Business, Healthcare and Technology. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, The university’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. To learn more, visit