Naperville, Ill. – June 7, 2022 – U.S. Paralympic medalist Jessica Long will deliver the keynote address at DeVry University’s and its Keller Graduate School of Management commencement ceremonies on Sunday, June 12. Long will address the more than 1,000 DeVry and Keller graduates being conferred at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill. at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The decorated Paralympic swimmer is expected to share the importance of Mindset: creating habits, routines and goals, and how to “dream really big” for the farther you dream, the father you go.
“We are honored to have Jessica join us as our distinguished keynote speaker to celebrate the incredible achievements of our graduates,” said Tom Monahan, president and CEO of DeVry University. “Jessica has exemplified unwavering dedication that has helped her reach the pinnacle of her sport and maintain her position amongst the best in the world for over a decade. DeVry University exists to nurture this kind of ambition so we can fuel social and economic success, individually and together. Jessica’s story is more than admirable and will motivate our graduates to stay driven regardless of the challenges they encounter.”
DeVry University’s Commencement Weekend
This is DeVry’s first in-person commencement since 2019 and the first to be held nationally for the University. Students from across the country have been invited to attend, including students from DeVry University’s Advantage Academy in Chicago, Ill. and Decatur, Ga., and from the Bahamas, through its education partnership with the Bahamas Institute of Business & Technology. For those students who could not attend in-person, DeVry is live-streaming the ceremonies so graduates and their families can celebrate from wherever they call home.
The commencement ceremonies are part of a two-day Commencement Weekend. On Saturday, June 11, graduates can actively engage in sessions to prepare for what’s next after graduation, including networking, career preparation workshops, an alumni and business partner panel, a graduate and alumni reception, as well as a special guest speaker, Success on Your Own Terms author, James B. Rosseau, Sr.
Jessica Long, Commencement Keynote
Originally from Siberia, Long was adopted at 13 months old by her American parents, Steve and Beth Long. Born with fibular hemimelia, she did not have fibulas, ankles, heels and most of the other bones in her feet and had her legs amputated below the knees at 18 months old, so she could be fitted for prosthetic legs, learn how to walk and ultimately swim.
In the years since, Long has earned recognition as the second-most decorated U.S. Paralympian with 29 medals (16 gold, 8 silver, 5 bronze) and has won 52 world champion medals (35 gold, 15 silver, 2 bronze). She is a three-time recipient of the ESPN Best Female Athlete with a Disability ESPY Award (2007, 2012, 2013), named to Sports Illustrated’s “The World’s Best Female Athletes" list, and named Disabled Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World magazine three times (2006, 2011 and 2021).
Today, Long’s work focuses on winning in the water and inspiring others outside the pool. It is through her struggles that she has learned to grow and succeed as a champion and person, and her message of hope resonates with all walks of life.