Liberty University will host its first ever female keynote speaker for commencement, May 11, according to Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.
Shannon Bream, who is also the first commencement speaker to have graduated from Liberty since it became a fully accredited university,* will share the platform with this year’s baccalaureate speaker, Ravi Zacharias, who will deliver a brief message as well.
“The fact that Liberty University is now able to welcome one of its own alumni as its keynote speaker at commencement is a clear indication that the university is coming of age and fulfilling its mission of training champions for Christ,” Falwell said. “We are proud of Shannon Bream, and it is our privilege to welcome her home and honor her achievements.”
Both Zacharias and Bream are accustomed to speaking in front of thousands, whether it is on camera or live on stage.
A Supreme Court reporter for the Fox News Channel, Bream graduated from Liberty in 1993 before attending Florida State University College of Law to earn her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. From there, according to Bream’s biography, she practiced law for a number of years before making her way to broadcast news.
Zacharias, who was born in India in 1946, has written or edited more than 20 books and has spoken in such venues as the CIA, the National Prayer Breakfast, Harvard, Princeton and Oxford University, according to his biography. In addition to this, Zacharias has appeared on both CNN and Fox, hosts a weekly radio program, and is currently the senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University.
Although this will be Bream’s first time addressing students at commencement, she is no stranger to speaking at Liberty. According to Liberty’s news archives, Bream spoke at Convocation in November of 2009, reminiscing about her time at Liberty and how she made her way into the journalism field.
“We are expecting record attendance exceeding 30,000 people for Liberty’s 40th commencement service in 2013 and are thrilled to be hosting Shannon Bream and Ravi Zacharias,” Falwell said.
*Class of ’77 graduate Charles Hughes delivered the commencement address by a Liberty alumnus in 1979.