It’s become an annual honor for High Point University, being recognized for attracting extraordinary graduation speakers.
HPU’s 2015 Commencement speaker, broadcast legend Tom Brokaw, was named in The Huffington Post’s list of top Commencement speakers.
Last year, CNN included the 2014 Commencement speaker, Gen. Colin Powell, on a similar list. His speech went on to be shared by countless national media outlets. The Huffington Post declared “Congress Needs to Stop and Listen to Colin Powell’s Commencement Speech.” Buzzfeed said that Powell “spoke the truth to graduates.” CBS Face the Nation included excerpts of his speech in their 2014 Commencement highlights. And the entire speech was streamed live via ABC News to a global audience.
Seeing Brokaw’s name on this list is exciting, but not surprising given his accomplishments. During his tenure, NBC Nightly News became the most watched cable or broadcast news program in the United States. He is revered as one of the most trustworthy and respected journalists in the world.
The same goes for Powell – a four star general who has served as secretary of state, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and national security advisor. He is one of the most influential leaders of our time.
It’s also no surprise to see High Point University on the list again. Our university has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last 10 years. One of the educational components established by HPU President Nido Qubein during that time is providing Access to Innovators – surrounding students with major leaders and thinkers who have contributed to the world in positive and measurable ways.
It’s not the name recognition of the speaker that matters. It’s their impact on humankind. It’s the real-world context they bring to classroom content. It’s the face to face interaction with these heroes, models, and mentors that allow HPU students to understand they can do it too.
As the Class of 2015 prepares to spread their wings in the world, they leave campus having heard from many leaders and innovators who have changed and continue to change the world for the better. It’s fitting that they depart with a message from Brokaw, a respected journalist who can provide a unique and thoughtful perspective on both our past and future.
While the Roberts Hall lawn will be filled with faculty, graduates, and many of their loved ones, we encourage our entire HPU Family to celebrate our 91st Graduation Ceremony by watching a live webcast at www.highpoint.edu/live.
We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates, knowing that the best is still yet to come.