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Nearly 400 years ago, Johannes Kepler discovered the Laws of Planetary Motion and etched a place for himself as a founder of modern astronomy. History judiciously erased the fact that Kepler was a competent practicing astrologer. As the "Father of Modern Astronomy," Kepler based his life's work on the synthesis of mathematics, astrology, astronomy, geometry and music.

During that same historic period, astrology was banished from the halls of academia in the quest for rationality. Four centuries later, the Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences marked the return of astrology to higher education when its doors were opened to a select group of students in July, 2000.

On October 10, 2004, eight students completed their four year program and were awarded Bachelor of Arts degrees in Astrological Studies. The graduation ceremony was held at the Seattle Asian Art Museum and was attended by the graduates and their families, faculty, board members and members of the astrology community from as far away as Japan.

For the first time in four hundred years, academic degrees in Astrological Arts and Sciences were awarded to the first graduating class of Kepler College. Bachelor's Degrees were awarded to: (left to right) Linda R. Burch, Norma Jean Ream, Lindy Bradstreet, Paula Wagner, Karen Hawkwood, Maire Masco, Tishelle Betterman and Elizabeth Kitney.

Dean of Faculty and Community Outreach, Dr. Dennis Harness, gave the Invocation. Kepler College President, Carol Tebbs, welcomed everyone and introduced the honored guests. The Dean of Students and Academic Affairs, Dr. J. Lee Lehman, presented an overview of Kepler College's history. Faculty member, Rob Hand, delivered the graduation address, titled "The Road Ahead." Other faculty members, including Dr. Nick Campion (by video), Demetra George and Georgia Stathis, recognized the pioneering work of the students in this first graduating class. After diplomas were awarded the the proud graduates, a reception was held for the attendees.

Kepler College provides a sound, liberal, intellectual basis for astrological studies through an integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum comprised of history, philosophy, cultural anthropology, mythology, comparative religion, psychology, astronomy, mathematics, logic, statistics, ethics, systems theory, literature and more. All subjects are introduced through the lens of astrology.

In addition to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program, Kepler recently received authorization for the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree and has degree authorization pending for the Master of Arts (M.A.) in East-West Studies.

It is difficult to express the feeling that was contained within the auditorium walls as the robed graduates received their degrees and astrology shined so brightly. Camaraderie and joy was felt by those who shared this momentous occasion. We at StarIQ acknowledge the outstanding students and faculty who have demonstrated that the study and practice of astrology has a place in our modern world and in higher education.

Learn more about Kepler College.


Rick Levine is the author of the StarIQ daily horoscope column that can also be found on and AOL. He is the cofounder of StarIQ. He is also an Emeritus Trustee of Kepler College. Along with Jeff Jawer, Rick can be heard weekly on The StarTalkers radio show and daily on the PlanetPulse.

More about Rick Levine.

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