HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 19, 2010 – High Point University will continue its tradition of bringing inspirational speakers to its Commencement exercises by featuring seven-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, as the 2011 Commencement speaker. Armstrong will speak on Saturday, May 7, 2011, during Commencement exercises on the HPU campus.
Armstrong will become part of an extraordinary lineup of HPU Commencement speakers, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (2005), Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan (2006), Dr. Bill Cosby (2007), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (2008), NASA Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin (2009) and Muhtar Kent, CEO of the Coca-Cola Company (2010).
“Each year, we aim to set positive examples to our graduating seniors who are just beginning to step out into the real world and begin their careers,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, president of HPU. “Lance Armstrong is a shining example of hard work and dedication – and what it really means to work toward a goal. He is a champion who stays at the top of his game through his positive outlook and determination to make a difference; his message will surely inspire our 2011 graduates to go out and succeed.”
Armstrong, who is best known for winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times after beating testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain, won his first U.S. National Amateur Champion in 1991. Soon after, he turned professional. He then went on to represent the United States in the 1992 Summer Olympics. From there, he participated in race-after-race, winning titles and moving up in the cycling world. By the time he entered the 1996 Summer Olympics, he was the No. 1 ranked cyclist in the world.
Shortly after the Olympics in 1996, when Armstrong was just 25 and enjoying continued cycling success, he was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer. Though hischances for his recovery were far less than 50-50, a frightened yet determined Armstrong began an aggressive form of chemotherapy. With the advice of specialists, he tried a course of treatment that gave him a chance for a full recovery with less danger of losing lung capacity as a side effect. Remarkably, the chemotherapy began to work, and he gradually allowed his thoughts to return to racing. And Armstrong?s thoughts on racing proved successful ? after returning, he ultimately won the Tour de France in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Amidst his promising racing career, Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997, which supports people affected by cancer; in 2004, the same foundation partnered with Nike and launched the LiveStrong campaign along with the “Wear Yellow” movement – which featured the token yellow wristband and ultimately became a worldwide phenomenon.
The LiveStrong campaign began a global movement about hope, empowerment and taking control of your life and health. Through his foundation (http://www.livestrong.org/), he continues to support cancer research. A website that is a counterpart to his foundation, http://www.livestrong.com/, encourages health, fitness and making wise lifestyle choices.
Armstrong continues to promote his message globally, traveling worldwide to inspire worldwide leaders to support the fight against cancer. Through his work, Armstrong has again and again proven to be one of the most recognizable and admired people of this era.
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among comprehensive colleges in the South. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 42 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at http://www.highpoint.edu/.
Vice President for Administration