HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 14, 2013 – High Point University continues its tradition of bringing renowned thought leaders to campus by featuring General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), former secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and national security advisor, as its Commencement speaker on May 3, 2014.
“General Colin Powell’s service and dedication to our country reflect many of the values we promote at High Point University,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president. “As we prepare our students to experience lives of both success and significance, his story will surely inspire positive action.”
Powell will become part of an extraordinary lineup of HPU Commencement Speakers, including Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Dr. Bill Cosby, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, NASA Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin, CEO of the Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent, and former First Lady Laura Bush.
About the Honorable Colin L. Powell:
For more than 50 years, Powell has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world.
The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in Harlem and was raised in the South Bronx. He attended the City College of New York where he earned a B.S. in Geology. He also joined the ROTC program at CCNY where he discovered his calling and launched his military career. He received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in 1958 and went on to serve in the United States Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of four-star general.
From 1987-1989, Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor. He served from 1989-1993 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. He was not only the youngest officer and first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position, but also was the first African-American to do so.
Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th Secretary of State. He led the State Department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civil conflicts in the Middle East, Sudan, Congo and Liberia, in the Balkans, Cyprus, Haiti, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq, and elsewhere.
Today, Powell is a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and is on the board of Bloom Energy. He is also the honorary chairman of the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and chairman of the advisory board of Leeds Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investments in the education, training, information and business services industries.
He has received numerous military awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, and has published two best-selling books, “My American Journey” and “It Worked for Me.”