LOGAN, UT – Utah State University welcomes Eric Greitens — noted humanitarian, award-winning and best-selling author, documentary photographer and Navy SEAL — as its commencement speaker for USU’s 125th graduation ceremony this year. Greitens will present the commencement address during the program that will feature four prominent individuals who will receive honorary doctorates during the undergraduate ceremony May 5 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan. “We are honored that Eric Greitens accepted our invitation to address our graduating students this year,” said USU President Stan L. Albrecht. “Commencement is a time for celebration and inspiration. His message will resonate with our students and inspire them at this turning point in their lives.” Those receiving honorary doctorates are: Norah Abdullah Al-Faiz, Saudi Arabian vice minister for girls’ education; Quentin L. Cook, former attorney and current member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Lars P. Hansen, world-renowned economist; and U.S. beef industry leader John R. Miller. Albrecht said honorary degrees are one of the most important ways the university has to recognize people for the commitment and sacrifices they have made to make positive changes in the world. “All of these individuals have made their marks in a number of ways and in a number of fields, but all of them deserve honor for their passion and determination to serve others,” he said.
Eric Greitens is a noted humanitarian, award-winning and best-selling author, documentary photographer and Navy SEAL. He draws from these experiences to address leadership, overcoming adversity and the power of service. Greitens was born and raised in Missouri, where he was educated in the public schools. He attended Duke University as an Angier B. Duke Scholar. Selected as a Rhodes and Truman Scholar, Greitens attended the University of Oxford where he earned a master’s in 1998 and a doctorate in 2000. He attended Naval Officer Candidate School in 2001 and graduated with Class 237 in February 2002. Greitens was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to serve as a White House Fellow in 2005-06, where he worked in the Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist with the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. As a Navy SEAL, Greitens was deployed four times to Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Southeast Asia. He has served as the commander of a Joint Special Operations Task Unit, commander of a Mark V Special Operations Craft Detachment and as commander of an al Qaeda Targeting Cell. His personal military awards include the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, among myriad others. In 2011, the Association of the United States Navy named Greitens its Navy Reserve Officer of the Year. Research conducted by Greitens for his doctoral dissertation on how organizations can best serve war-affected children inspired his award-winning book of photography and essays, “Strength and Compassion,” which was recognized as “ForeWord Magazine’s” “Photography Book of the Year” and was the winner of the 2009 New York Book Festival. His latest book, “The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL,” is a “New York Times” best-seller that provides insights into service and leadership during challenging times. After returning from Iraq, Greitens founded The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization that works with wounded and disabled veterans to build new lives as citizen leaders after returning from service. His dedicated work at The Mission Continues has earned Greitens many accolades. He was presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2008 and is a fellow of the Draper Richards Foundation. In 2011, The Social Venture Network recognized Greitens and The Mission Continues as one of the most impactful forces in the community. Greitens currently studies and teaches public service as a senior fellow at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri and in the MBA Program at the Olin School of Business at Washington University. An accomplished athlete, Greitens is a sub-3 hour marathon runner and a golden gloves boxer. For more information on USU’s 125th Commencement, visit the
<a href=”http://www.usu.edu/commencement/”>commencement website</a>