Navy Veteran, Paralympian Swimmer Brad Snyder to Deliver Keynote Address at Stevenson University’s 63rd Commencement Ceremonies, May 19

April 18, 2016 7 AM
brad snyder

Stevenson University is pleased to announce that U.S. Navy veteran and Paralympian swimmer Brad Snyder will be the keynote speaker at the University’s 63rd Commencement Ceremonies, Thursday, May 19.

Snyder, a retired Navy Lieutenant, was severely injured in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in 2011. He sustained complete vision loss from the explosion.

As a part of his rehabilitation process, Snyder, who served as swim team captain while at the Naval Academy, returned to the pool. After a few months of training, he was able to earn a spot on the U.S. Paralympic National Swim Team. At the 2012 Paralympics in London, he competed in seven events, earning two gold medals and one silver medal. His victory in the 400-meter freestyle occurred on September 7, 2012, which marked exactly one year from the day he suffered his vision loss. Snyder is currently training for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“I’m going to show people that I’m not going to let this beat me,” Snyder said. “I’m not going to let blindness build a brick wall around me. I am going to find a way forward.”

Snyder first spoke at Stevenson in August of 2014 when he addressed incoming freshmen and their families at the University’s Convocation.

Stevenson will also recognize Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. President of United Way Worldwide, with the University’s 6th Annual Social Entrepreneurship Award.

Stewart leads the U.S. network of nearly 1,200 local and state United Way campaigns. Stewart leads multiple teams responsible for creating change to improve lives through the areas of education, financial stability and health. Under her leadership, the U.S. Network engages thousands of local partners, more than 11 million individual donors and volunteers, and raises more than 3.9 billion dollars each year to rally around initiatives in these vital areas.

Both Snyder and Stewart will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Stevenson University’s highest academic honor.

Stevenson will hold two commencement ceremonies May 19. Graduates from the Brown School of Business and Leadership and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences receive their diplomas at 10 a.m., and graduates from the School of Design, the School of Education, the School of Health Professions, and the School of the Sciences receive their diplomas at the 3 p.m. ceremony. For more information, visit The commencement ceremony can be viewed online by visiting the URL above and clicking the “Live Feed” tab.

Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent university in Maryland with more than 4,200 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult bachelor’s programs at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.

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