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2017 Commencement speaker.

Commencement 2017

Southern New Hampshire University celebrated its 85th Commencement Weekend on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14, 2017, at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. More than 16,000 families, friends, and community members joined SNHU in celebrating more than 4,600 graduates, in four ceremonies. Commencement speakers included: Virginia Prescott, Host of 'Word of Mouth,' on New Hampshire Public Radio; Maribel Duran, Assistant Director for Strategy and Operations with the Education & Society Program of the Aspen Institute; Beth Miller, Executive Director of the Creative Education Foundation; and Zia Haider Rahman, Award-winning novelist, and author of 'In the Light of What We Know'.

May 13-14, 2017 | 8,750 Undergraduate | 5,762 Graduate | 18 Doctoral

Jacqueline Capobianco, Bachelor of Arts - Education

Jacqueline Capobianco has always believed in the power of education. In her speech, Jackie spoke of her invaluable mentors and her remarkable support networks within the university, and in her community.

Virginia Prescott

Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio's Word of Mouth program, urged graduates to take control of their lives - reminding them that opportunities come to those who seek them.

Dori Londres, Master of Arts - Communication

Dori Londres’ journey to Commencement was similar to that of many of her peers – this achievement was a long time in the making. Dori’s speech, described her own personal journey of transformation, determination, and everlasting hope.

Maribel Duran

Southern New Hampshire University alumna Maribel Duran, the Assistant Director for Strategy and Operations at the Education & Society Program at the Aspen Institute, spoke poignantly of her extraordinary connection to SNHU's newest graduates.

Nilhari (Neil) Bhandari, Bachelor of Arts - Mathematics

Born in Bhutan, and raised and educated in a refugee camp in Nepal, Neil always knew he wanted to gain a degree from an American university. When Neil and his family relocated to New Hampshire in 2009, SNHU provided the perfect opportunity for him to reach this lifelong goal.

Beth Miller

Beth Miller, the Executive Director of the Creative Education Foundation's address centered on perseverance and persistence, in light of what may feel like countless obstacles.

Kurtis Palermo, Master of Science – Organizational Leadership

Growing up as a first-generation college student, Kurtis wasn’t always convinced that higher-education was on the cards. Now, more than a decade later, Kurtis has earned his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

Zia Haider Rahman

Zia Haider Rahman, the award winning novelist of In the Light of What We Know, encouraged graduates to live full and engaged lives - challenging them to always ask questions.