Support our mission
 
Javier Miyares, University of Maryland University College president, speaks to graduating students during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
Javier Miyares, University of Maryland University College president, speaks to graduating students during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Javier Miyares, University of Maryland University College president, speaks to graduating students during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
Javier Miyares, University of Maryland University College president, speaks to graduating students during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
277 University of Maryland University College Europe graduates attend the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
277 University of Maryland University College Europe graduates attend the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, delivers the commencement address at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, delivers the commencement address at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Graduates listen to guest speaker Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
Graduates listen to guest speaker Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
University of Maryland University College Europe graduates take the stage during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. About 277 graduates participated in this year's ceremony.
University of Maryland University College Europe graduates take the stage during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. About 277 graduates participated in this year's ceremony. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Cameron Regul, from U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz, receives his degree during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Regur earned a bachelor's degree in gerontology with honors.
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Cameron Regul, from U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz, receives his degree during the commencement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Regur earned a bachelor's degree in gerontology with honors. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — One graduate, a soldier who has been in the service 20 years, took eight years to get his bachelor’s degree; another graduate, a veteran of nine years and mother of four children, took 12.

On Saturday afternoon at the Ramstein Airbase Officer’s Club, both graduates, MSgt. Cameron Regur and Julie Weckerlein, joined 275 others with similar stories of dedication in a ceremony of the University of Maryland University College Europe.

The freshly minted graduates received their associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees at the 66th annual commencement ceremony. The Ramstein graduates were among a larger group of more than 1,300 graduates from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and part of an even larger group of more than 13,200 graduates from UMUC worldwide. Almost all were servicemembers, dependents, veterans or government workers.

Many pursued their studies while raising families or being deployed downrange. Almost half of the 2018 graduates — 46 percent — were active duty.

Regur, 40, a military police officer, started pursuing his degree almost eight years ago in a quest that spanned four duty stations and two deployments downrange. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in gerontology with honors.

He said finally getting his degree was difficult at times. “I’m happy to be done with school for a while.”

Weckerlein, 37, an Air Force veteran of nine years and mother of four, got a bachelor’s degree in communications. Starting at UMUC in 2006, she moved to Germany as a government worker and continued her studies, at one time showing up for her first week of class nine months pregnant. She said she had to constantly juggle work, school and family.

“There were really long days and always tough choices to make,” she said.

morris.william@stripes.com Twitter: @willatstripes

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up