Best Selling Author, Army Veteran, and Education Leader Wes Moore Keynote Speaker at National University’s June 11 Southern California Commencement

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National figure will share his inspiring story of overcoming challenges to succeed in life to an audience of 10,000 at San Diego’s Petco Park

Wes Moore is National University's Southern California Commencement Keynote Speaker. Photo: Courtesy of Wes Moore

The graduates at National University and the hard work they put into their degrees and life in general shows they are ready to lead us for decades to come. I salute their success.

National University’s Southern California Commencement Ceremony June 11 will feature keynote speaker Wes Moore, a best-selling author, Rhodes Scholar, U.S. Army veteran, and education leader. The University’s commencement exercises will bring together thousands of students and their families and friends to hear Mr. Moore’s speech and celebrate graduation at Petco Park, marking the first time the University has hosted the venue at the iconic San Diego location.

Mr. Moore’s background overcoming challenges to succeed in life and becoming a leader resonates with National University students, many of whom are working adults who have gone back to school to further their education improve their future. The University’s unique one-class-per-month format was developed to address the needs of working professionals, including members of the military that face frequent deployments.

“I am truly honored to be the keynote speaker at the National University Commencement,” said Mr. Moore. “The graduates at National University and the hard work they put into their degrees and life in general shows they are ready to lead us for decades to come. I salute their success.”

Wes Moore was raised along with his sisters by their widowed mother, and he overcame early academic and behavioral challenges to graduate with honors as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College and Johns Hopkins University. He would go on to become a Rhodes Scholar, and a paratrooper and captain in the U.S. Army serving a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan. He later served as a White House fellow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he hosted the show “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network, works tirelessly as a youth advocate, and he is the founder and CEO of BridgeEdU, an effort aimed at smoothing the transition for students entering their first year of college.

Moore also is a successful author whose first book, The Other Wes Moore, details the story of two young Baltimore boys that share the same name and similar backgrounds. One, however, is serving a life term for murder while the other becomes a Rhodes Scholar and a decorated combat veteran. The book, along with his second book, The Work, both became New York Times Bestsellers.

National University’s Southern California Commencement will be presided over by National University’s President Dr. David W. Andrews, who joined the university in April of this year after serving as Dean of the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University.

“We are so very pleased to have Wes Moore speak to our graduates on this very special day,” said Dr. Andrews. “Mr. Moore has set an example of how we can all aspire to giving back to our communities and society in ways large and small, and his personal story is a reminder of how important education is to give us the strength and perspective to forge a better future for ourselves and our families.”

National University’s Southern California Commencement Ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m., June 11, at Petco Park, 100 Park Boulevard, in downtown San Diego with an expected total attendance of about 10,000. About 2,000 graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony, which represents a portion of the University’s 4,500 graduates for 2015-2016. National University, which has campuses throughout the state, celebrated its Northern California graduates at a May Commencement in Sacramento, which featured champion runner Meb Keflezighi as keynote speaker.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 150,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the College of Letters and Sciences; the Sanford College of Education; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California.

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Anna Cearley