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Walden News // Dec 15, 2017

Soledad O’Brien to Speak at Walden University’s Winter Commencement

Soledad O’Brien
Soledad O’Brien

Minneapolis—December 15, 2017—Soledad O’Brien, the award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer, will be the keynote speaker at Walden University’s 59th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, January 20, 2018, in Tampa, Florida.

After decades on television as an anchor and contributor on major television networks, O’Brien founded Starfish Media Group, a multimedia production and distribution company, in 2013. She began the media company to create a platform to tell empowering stories on a range of social issues, including race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, and originated the successful documentaries Black in America and Latino in America. Currently, O’Brien anchors and produces the Hearst Television political magazine program Matter of Fact With Soledad O’Brien and reports regularly for HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel and PBS’ NewsHour.

O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, believe in the power of education. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, they created the PowHERful Foundation to assist young women to “get to and through” college by providing financial assistance, mentorship and other services. This year, 25 deserving young women will be awarded scholarships through their foundation.

“Soledad O’Brien has been at the forefront of major national and international issues for the past two decades, but her personal dedication to education and social change goes well beyond her work on television. We are thrilled to have her share her experiences and personal mission for social change with our graduates and attendees,” said Jonathan Kaplan, president of Walden University.

O’Brien has won numerous awards for her work, including an Emmy in 2011 for “Crisis in Haiti,” reporting on Haitian orphanages following the massive earthquake, as well as a George Foster Peabody Award as a member of CNN team coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf Coast oil spill. She was also named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists and one of Newsweek’s “10 People Who Make America Great.” In 2013, O’Brien joined Harvard University as a Distinguished Fellow and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the foundation for the National Archives.

The Walden University community gathers to honor its graduating students twice a year at summer and winter commencement ceremonies. The 2018 winter commencement ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Eastern time on January 20 at the Tampa Convention Center. The ceremony and address can be viewed live via webcast at

About Walden University
For more than 45 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Students from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university offers more than 85 degree programs with more than 435 specializations and concentrations. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, Walden is one of more than 70 institutions in 25 countries that make up the Laureate International Universities network. For more information about Walden, visit