As Northern Arizona University prepares to welcome the next graduating class into its alumni family, many are reflecting on the stories that brought them to this moment. Inside NAU highlights just a few of the exceptional students who will be celebrating their accomplishments at NAU’s commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at the Walkup Skydome.

Northern Arizona University salutes all 2,450 graduates who have worked so hard toward this significant achievement.

Watch the ceremonies online. Schedules for the various school and college receptions, as well as parking and other information, also can be found online.

Alex Oden Alex Oden: Making every day count
Winning three of Northern Arizona University’s most esteemed honors—the President’s Prize, the Gold Axe Award and the Distinguished Senior Award for his college—pales in comparison to Alex Oden’s other feats.
Rachel Tso Rachel Tso: Inspiring future generations
Rachel Tso’s graduate work in the sustainable communities program ended up planting a seed in her daughter’s life, too.
David McNeill David McNeill: Going the extra mile
Australian distance runner David McNeill traveled from the other side of the world to attend NAU. The record-setting athlete picked up a number of honors along the way, while remaining equally steadfast in his pursuit of his exercise science degree.