NARRATOR: Over the past 40 years, Walden University has become an intellectual crossroads. Its speaker series have drawn distinguished scholars, journalists, and others in public life to share their views with students and faculty. These men and women enrich Walden's commencements and academic residency programs. They enhance students' perspectives and experience. And they exemplify Walden's mission of positive social change.
Dr. Eric Greitens is an author, photojournalist, humanitarian aid worker, and former Navy SEAL. Today, he leads The Mission Continues, a nonprofit that helps wounded and disabled veterans begin public service careers in civilian life.
ERIC GREITENS: People will say, well, you can go out. And you've got to find your hope, as if it might be somewhere in your room along with the keys that you misplaced. Right? You're going to look around, and you're going to find your hope. The fact is, hope is something that we create. And hope is something that we create through the actions that we take.
NARRATOR: Former New Jersey governor, Christine Todd Whitman, served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during George W. Bush's first term. Today, she consults on energy and environmental issues, and co-chairs the Republican Leadership Council.
CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: Walden's motto is "a higher degree for a higher purpose." I hope that each of you will use the higher degrees that you are earning here for the high purpose of demanding more of our politicians, both on the campaign trail and in the halls of government.
NARRATOR: After a career as a manager at Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Lilly Ledbetter discovered she had always been paid far less than her male counterparts. Her suit against the company made it to the Supreme Court, where her previous damage award was thrown out, essentially on a technicality.
LILY LEDBETTER: In one fell swoop, I lost my case, and became the poster child for unequal pay for equal work. But instead of taking it quietly, I decided to fight back. I refused to take this unjust ruling lying down. I owe that much not just to myself, but to my daughter and my granddaughter, not to mention America's women and girls.
NARRATOR: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama. Trained as a pediatrician, Dr. Cheryl Dorsey is the president of Echoing Green, the global nonprofit has awarded more than $28 million in startup capital to more than 450 social entrepreneurs worldwide since 1987.
CHERYL DORSEY: I believe that our core identity, who we truly are, and what we're meant to do in this world, is as intrinsic as our DNA. It's etched in our soul, and ultimately, it's our job to figure out what it is. Yet for most of us, our very reason for being remains as invisible to us as those molecular building blocks because of self-imposed limitations, because of societal expectations, and just the relentless stuff of daily life. But it's there.
NARRATOR: Lord Mark Malloch-Brown has dedicated his career to solving the most vexing of global challenges. 30 years ago, as a UN Official, he was in Southeast Asia helping hundreds of thousands of Cambodian refugees escape the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. He recently served as Britain's foreign minister for Africa, Asia, and the United Nations.
LORD MALLOCH-BROWN: Today's security is not just in our military defenses, but in the minds of men and women. Can we build a community of shared knowledge, ideas, and values that doesn't overcome or brush away differences, but places there a resolution in the arena of debate about ideas?
NARRATOR: Donna Brazile is a prominent Democratic political strategist, author, and commentator. She ran Al Gore's 2000 campaign for president, and was chair of the Voting Rights Institute.
DONNA BRAZILE: We women can hold up half the sky. Give us a chance, and we'll show you the way. We'll show you the way out of poverty. We'll show you a way to give every American health care. We'll show you a way to create lasting peace. End genocide in Darfur. Because we will talk to everyone, and we will find the words to get things right.
NARRATOR: Walden University, bringing diverse speakers to enhance student's perspective and experience.