CHICAGO, Ill – Jul. 30, 2019 – U.S. Paralympic bronze medalist, Anna Johannes, will deliver the keynote address at DeVry University’s and its Keller Graduate School of Management Chicagoland commencement ceremonies on Sunday, Aug 4. Johannes, also a DeVry and Keller alumna, will address the 600+ DeVry and Keller graduates being conferred at the Rosemont Theater in Rosemont, Ill., at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Paralympic swimmer will speak about the importance of striking a balance between working hard towards goals and enjoying life at the same time.
Born with amniotic band syndrome, a birth defect that left her without a left hand and forearm, Johannes didn’t let her disability stop her from competing on swim teams at a young age. When Johannes was 11 years old, she attended her first Paralympic swim meet and six years later she moved to Colorado Springs to train at the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center to improve her chances of competing in the Paralympic Games London 2012.
Johannes won the bronze medal in the women’s 4 x 100-meter medley relay at the Paralympic Games London 2012. She went on to earn additional medals in bronze (1) at the 2013 World Para Swimming Championships, and silver (2) and bronze (1) at the Parapan American Games in 2015. In 2011, Johannes set the Parapan American records in the SB9 100-meter breaststroke and S9 100-meter butterfly events where she earned a total of five gold and one silver medal.
Despite long days of arduous training, Johannes stayed committed to her education and graduated from DeVry Summa Cum Laude in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and earned her MBA with a concentration in marketing from Keller in 2018.
“We’re proud and honored to have U.S. Paralympian Anna Johannes as our distinguished keynote speaker,” said Amy King, group president at DeVry University, “She has proven to be an extraordinary athlete and student. Someone who has refused to let adversity hold her back or stop her from achieving her dreams. Anna’s success, as an athlete and student, exemplifies the perseverance and dedication it takes to thrive and compete in the real world. I know she’ll be an inspiration to our new graduates.”
DeVry University is an official education provider of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. Through this partnership, DeVry University provides educational options at the undergraduate and graduate level to current and former athletes with the flexibility to accommodate students during their athletic training and competition schedule. Since the partnership began in 2011, more than 500 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and training hopefuls have enrolled in a DeVry University certificate, associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree program, including 137 graduates.