Cancer survivors, competitive runners and enthusiasts of the color pink alike will likely be pleased with the keynote speaker for graduation.
Ambassador Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Race for the Cure, will give this year’s commencement speech. Brinker established Komen for the Cure to honor Susan, her sister, who lost her battle to breast cancer in 1980.
“We strive to bring speakers of national stature to inspire our students with their passion, wisdom and life experiences,” University President Joanne Glasser said. “Nancy’s relationship with Peoria and Bradley makes her appearance at commencement particularly special for our community, our university and our graduates.”
Brinker is a native Peorian and has received several honors and awards. She was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2008, and President Barack Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2009.
She also served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary from 2001 to 2003 and the U.S. Chief of Protocol, where she was responsible for overseeing overseas travel for President George W. Bush and protocol matter for visting heads of state, from 2007 to 2009.
Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists and has raised $1.6 billion for cancer research.
Glasser is a breast cancer survivor and is serving as the honorary chair for this year’s Race for the Cure.