Over the weekend of May 11-12, 2019, about 8,000 SNHU graduates - along with over 20,000 of their supporters – arrived at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, for Southern New Hampshire University’s 87th Commencement Weekend.
The 2019 commencement speakers were Cory Booker, U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate; Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama; Michele S. Jones, 9th Command Sergeant Major of the United States Army; and Jarrett J. Krosoczka, New York Times bestselling author and illustrator.
Student speakers represented our student population in many ways, from military service to refugee experience and breaking the cycle of homelessness and hunger to create a better life for their families. Selected speakers included Damayanti Subedi, Jacinta Casmir-Anyanwu, Robert Lee Testerman, Jr. and U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Kurt Waterstradt.
Cory Booker delivers a powerful speech about standing up for others and giving back to your community. He affirms that what defines this life is not your personal accomplishments, but what you do for other people, while reminding us that no act of kindness is too small.
The 30th mayor of Birmingham Alabama, Mayor Randall L. Woodfin, expresses sincere gratitude for those who are on their path to greatness. In his speech, he opens up about a personal tragedy that shaped his future and encourages everyone to be a force for good.
Command Sergeant Major of the United States Army and recent doctor of public service, Michelle S. Jones, delivers a speech about having the backbone to go against the tide, and having a wishbone to believe your dreams are possible.
Highlighting the poignant differences between the world his grandfather came from, and the world he now lives in, award-winning author and illustrator, Jarrett Krosoczka, gives an inspirational speech about life, work and the journey to writing and publishing 40 children’s books.
After putting her own future and education on hold to support her family after their eviction, Damayanti Subedi applied to and was accepted to Southern New Hampshire University. Here, she tells the celebratory story of completing her dream come true, an online degree from SNHU.
As a student speaker, Jacinta Casmir-Anyanwu delivers a passionate speech on the power of education, and Robert Lee Testerman Jr. urges his fellow classmates to remember the late nights, the countless cups of coffee and the “oh my gosh” moments that brought them to graduation.
Student speaker Kurt Waterstradt delivers a commencement speech after earning his Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He reminds his fellow graduates that everyone has a unique reason for earning their degree, and that graduating from college is an accomplishment worthy of celebration and reflection.