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National Best-Selling Author Wes Moore to be NCCC Commencement Speaker

April 13, 2012


NCCC President James P. Klyczek has announced that national best-selling author Wes Moore will be the keynote speaker at the May 12 Niagara County Community College Commencement ceremony.   Moore, a youth advocate, Army combat veteran and innovative social entrepreneur is the author of The Other Wes Moore, a New York Times bestseller.  He is also the host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In his 2011 New York Times bestseller The Other Wes Moore, Moore looks at the lives of two boys --his own and that of another with whom he shares the same name -- born just blocks apart and within a year of each other in Baltimore.  Moore reached out to the “other” Wes Moore and learned that while both grew up fatherless and had difficult childhoods, their lives had radically different outcomes: one become a Rhodes Scholar and decorated war veteran and one became a criminal now serving a life sentence for murder.  Moore looks at why two lives with similar beginnings should lead to such extremely different ends.

Moore grad­u­ated Phi Theta Kappa as a com­mis­sioned offi­cer from Val­ley Forge Mil­i­tary Col­lege in 1998 and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity in 2001 with a bachelor’s in Inter­na­tional Rela­tions. He later attended Oxford Uni­ver­sity as a Rhodes Scholar and became a para­trooper and cap­tain in the U.S. Army, serv­ing a com­bat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 82nd Air­borne in 2005-2006. As a White House Fel­low in 2006-2007, he served as a Spe­cial Assis­tant to Sec­re­tary of State Con­doleezza Rice. Today, he continues to explore how mentoring, education, and public service affect the lives of young Americans.  He established an organization with Johns Hopkins to help troubled Baltimore youths called STAND!  He also serves on the boards of trustees for Johns Hopkins University, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE- Baltimore), Phi Theta Kappa, and Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). 

Moore was a featured speaker at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver and was named Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” in 2009.  He has been featured by The Oprah Winfrey Show, People magazine, USA Today, Essence, The View, Meet the Press, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, and NPR, among others.

 “Wes Moore overcame many personal challenges and his story is important for today’s graduates to hear,” said President Klyczek. “I look forward to the powerful message that he will share with our students in May.”