Global development advocate to address students at Lynn’s 2013 commencement

Co-founder of The Millennium Campus Network, Sam Vaghar, is Lynn's youngest commencement speaker ever and empowers students to make a difference
Global development advocate to address students at Lynn’s 2013 commencement

Published Apr. 04, 2013

The executive director and co-founder of The Millennium Campus Network (MCN), Sam Vaghar, will address hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students at Lynn University’s 2013 commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May, 11.

Sam_VagharVaghar, 26, is the youngest commencement speaker in Lynn’s 50-year history and one of the youngest in the nation. As a member of Generation Y, Vaghar is a millennial – like many of the graduates he will be addressing next month. 

“Society often tells us that our President, our government or Fortune 500 CEOs are the leaders solely responsible for changing the world,” said Vaghar. “I am here to share with my peers that creating change is something each of us has a role in sparking and sustaining. We need to own our role as change agents and take responsibility for our actions - and for our generation’s potential. Lynn University embraces this commitment to youth empowerment, and I am excited to contribute to this critical dialogue in May.”

Lynn has strong ties with the MCN, a Boston-based, national non-profit that is dedicated to empowering university student organizations across the United States to be effective partners for global development. Like the MCN, Lynn focuses on not only educating its students but also building global citizens. In 2010 and 2011, President Kevin M. Ross presented at the Millennium Campus Conference (MCC), hosted by the MCN.

“Through his work with the MCN, Sam Vaghar has inspired students around the world," Ross said. "I have no doubt that his excitement and passion will impact Lynn’s students as well.”

Under Vaghar’s leadership, the MCN has grown tremendously and now educates over 1,000 campus leaders through annual conferences, trains emerging leaders through an innovative fellowship program and allocates Student Action Grants to support activism on campuses and overseas.

“The responsibility to grow as adults and serve others rests on our shoulders” said Vaghar. “Creating change starts with personal commitment and recognition that how we treat ourselves and those closest to us has a ripple effect on thousands of others. We cannot wait for others to create change; it is up to us.”

In 2011, the State Department invited Vaghar to be the featured speaker on a tour across Bosnia and Herzegovina. That summer, he met with President Barack Obama to share the perspectives of youth leaders in the United States. In 2012, Vaghar was selected as one of the “Top 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33” by The Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.

Vaghar, a 2008 graduate of Brandeis University, has addressed audiences at over two-dozen institutions including: Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United Nations, among others. Read more about Vaghar and his commitment to empowering students to make a difference in the Boston Globe.

2013 commencement

Lynn’s commencement consists of two graduation ceremonies at the Count and Countess de Hoernle Sports and Cultural Center. The first one for evening undergraduate and graduate students will be on Friday, May 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the second one for day undergraduate students will be on Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The processionals for each ceremony will begin approximately 15 minutes before the ceremony start time. The students crossing the stage both days make up the 48th graduating class at Lynn University. More than 300 students will walk in the day undergraduate ceremony Saturday, and more than 200 students will walk in the evening graduate ceremony on Friday.