The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Veteran, Entrepreneur and Best-Selling Author Wes Moore to Deliver 2016 Commencement Speech

Veteran, Entrepreneur and Best-Selling Author Wes Moore to Deliver 2016 Commencement Speech

On Wednesday, Feb. 24 Loyola president Father Brian Linnane, S.J. announced that Wes Moore accepted the invitation to deliver this year’s commencement address. Wes will speak to graduating seniors and their loved ones on May 21 at Royal Farms Arena in downtown Baltimore. Moore is also set to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the University during the ceremony.

“In recent years, we have made a concerted effort to choose an individual who can impart a message that is true to our mission as a Jesuit, Catholic university,” Linnane explained in an email to university community members. Linnane went on to say that as Loyola looks to continue discussions around the need for racial justice in our community, a speaker like Moore would be the perfect fit to share knowledge and insights with graduating Greyhounds.

Moore was born in Maryland to father Westley, a popular journalist in the Baltimore area and Joy, a native of Jamaica. Moore’s father passed away suddenly when he was just three years old, and this was a turning point in his life as he spent much of his childhood rebelling against school and authority. Despite the huge financial burden, Moore’s mother enrolled him in military school at age 13 in hopes to shape a more positive future for her son. The now decorated veteran ran away from the school five times before finally deciding to stay, a choice that would change his life.

Moore went on to graduate Phi Theta Kappa as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College in 1998, and continued to pursue his education at Johns Hopkins University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in international relations. He followed his passion for international relations as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

After finishing his studies, Moore served in Afghanistan as a member of of the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. When he returned from active duty, he served as a White House fellow to then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He is an active advocate for our nation’s veterans as a board member for the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Moore is clearly a wildly successful and driven individual, which is further demonstrated through his two New York Time’s Bestselling books “The Other Wes Moore” and “The Work.” “The Other Wes Moore” was released in 2010 and is the product of an eerie, yet striking, coincidence.

In December 2000, The Baltimore Sun wrote a story about Moore’s road to success as a Rhodes Scholar, but the same publication also covered an on-going story about four men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a failed robbery. One of the four suspects? Another Wes Moore, who grew up in a similar neighborhood, had a similar upbringing with a single mother, and experienced similar trouble with the law, but with a vastly different outcome. Scholar and Veteran Moore reached out to his other namesake, who is now serving life in prison, and their exchanges about the challenges of their lives and their individual choices made for an instant best-selling novel.

Moore’s experiences growing up in a low-income, high risk environment pushed him to become an advocate for youth education, particular within inner cities. He is the creator of the organization STAND!, which helps Baltimore city youth who are in the criminal justice system. Moore is also the CEO and founder of BridgeEdU, a platform designed to make the transition to higher education easier. Approximately 30 percent of college students drop out or do not return to their starting school after freshman year, so Moore looks to help students with his innovative program that currently partners with the Community College of Baltimore County and the University of Baltimore.

In addition to these numerous accolades, Moore has also become a TV personality and analyst. He hosted “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network and produced/wrote “Coming Back with Wes Moore,” A PBS special about the adjustment for active duty servicemen and service women who return to civilian life. He is a regular on MSNBC programs such as “Meet the Press” and “Morning Joe” and his new documentary will be released on PBS this year. “All the Difference” is about children growing up in the school systems of inner-city Chicago over a five-year span and looks to address why many young boys of color have issues transitioning to higher education.

Interested in learning more about Wes Moore before 2016 commencement? Visit his website:

Photo Courtesy of Loyola University Maryland

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Veteran, Entrepreneur and Best-Selling Author Wes Moore to Deliver 2016 Commencement Speech