On Tuesday, September 23rd the $$Florence Campus held a grand opening celebration for its new 14,000 square foot facility located at 8095 Connector Drive. Graduates, neighbors, and business partners joined students and staff from American National University, which has served Northern Kentucky for more than 25 years, for tours, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and a reception.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Kentucky State Senator John Schickel, who serves District 11, presented senatorial citations to $$Florence Campus graduates Kayla Hadden, a business administration-accounting graduate, and Natasha Jackson, a veteran of the U.S. Army and graduate of the surgical technology program. He commended Kayla and Natasha on their achievements, after thanking American National University for offering the educational experience that many of today’s students need to succeed. “Life is difficult. Very few students come from families that can afford to go to four-year institutions and don’t have to work,” said Senator Schickel. “I was 50 years old when I finally graduated from college, and that’s the story of people that come to an institution like this. They’re working. They have families. They have challenging lives. Thank you for meeting these students where they’re at–not at some idealistic vision of where they should be.”
[img]Senator Schickel also praised American National University for investing over $400,000 into the local economy and using no public funding while making renovations to the facility. “Other institutions could take example,” said Senator Schickel. “What have they done here? They’ve taken existing real estate and turned it into something that’s productive for the community, right here in the middle of Florence, Kentucky where the students are.”
Veteran support organization Veteran Kinnection was also recognized during the ceremony as the organization’s founder, Daniel Royce, accepted a donation from American National University. “American National University is known for its recognition of our nation’s veterans and we are strong patriots,” said Jason Stewart, student services representative and veteran liaison for the campus. “As an institution of higher education that is managed by veterans – our president, Frank Longaker, is a Vietnam veteran, and we have many veterans among the college’s senior administrators – on this day of celebration, we take the time to remember those who have served and those who are serving and appreciate their dedication to our freedom.”
Following the ceremony, many of the attendees reflected on the contributions that American National University has made to the community, and the impact that their education at the Florence Campus has had on their lives. Kim Arrasmith-Bradley, a 2002 graduate of the administrative office specialist program, who now works as president and CEO of Arrasmith Promotions, recalled that she enrolled at the $$Florence Campus after she’d been out of the workforce for over twenty years. “It gave me the confidence to get out there and start a successful business and be comfortable again back out in the workforce,” explained Kim, who also serves as an ambassador for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “American National University has a special place in my heart, because they did get me started. To see them out here and growing like they are, and giving other people the opportunities that I feel like I got is pretty special and pretty exciting, so I wanted to be a part of it.”
Residents of the Northern Kentucky Area are invited to drop in any time to see the beautiful new $$Florence Campus, or contact the campus at (859) 525-6510 for more information.
A-Kentucky State Senator John Schickel is shown with $$Florence Campus Director Amy Brown during the campus's grand opening celebration.
B- Veteran Kinnection founder Daniel Royce is shown accepting a donation to his organization during the Florence Campus Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Pictured left to right-$$Florence Campus veteran liaison Jason Stewart, Veteran Kinnection founder Daniel Royce, American National University vice president of communications Chuck Steenburgh, and Florence Campus director Amy Brown.