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SMC to welcome Zimmer as commencement speaker

Kelly Rice | Friday, April 5, 2013


Social entrepreneur Kyle Zimmer will be the commencement speaker for the Saint Mary’s College Class of 2013.

According to a Saint Mary’s College press release, Zimmer, a 1986 graduate of the George Washington School of Law, is the president and CEO of First Book, a non-profit organization that provides books to children in need. She founded and became president of First Book in 1995, and the organization, under her leadership, has distributed over 100 million books to children nationwide, according to the press release. 

Senior Silvia Cuevas, senior class president, said she is looking forward to Zimmer’s address. Cuevas said she expects the commencement address to be memorable due to Zimmer’s accomplishments.

“The excitement beams from my face when I think of commencement, and what’s to come after Saint Mary’s,” Cuevas said. “Kyle Zimmer speaking during our commencement will be extraordinary, I am excited to listen about her path to leave a positive mark on the world and become a pioneer for change.”

Cuevas said Zimmer’s success in business and inspirational career will inspire the Class of 2013 to bring about change. 

“My peers and I are hoping to be in her shoes someday, as women who know their potential to create something for the greater good of all,” she said. “The college made an excellent choice, the class of 2013 will be itching to go out and be the change ourselves after we hear Zimmer speak.”

Senior Dani Haydell said she expects Zimmer’s speech to be inspiring because of her career as a woman working for change.

“I am excited for Zimmer to speak at commencement because she is a good example of what women can accomplish when they put their time, effort, and heart into something,” Haydell said. “Also, the fact that the company she is president of is working to make the lives of others better is a good example that women definitely are responsible for a huge part in changing the world and making it better.”

In 2007, Kyle Zimmer was named the United States’ Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Geneva-based Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

According to the press release, Zimmer will receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree from the College.