Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers

 Benjamin S. Carson Sr., M.D.

​Commencement Speaker

Benjamin S. Carson Sr., M.D.
Dr. Ben Carson is a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, inspirational speaker, New York Times best-selling author and former 2016 Republican presidential candidate.

His remarkable journey from tough, inner-city youth to history-making neurosurgeon celebrates and illustrates the power we all have to excel and influence others. As the son of a single mother in a tough urban neighborhood, Carson was running with the wrong crowd and failing in school – feeling as though he had no way out. He could easily have spiraled downward, but he chose another path. Driven by a passion for science and helping those less fortunate, Carson pursued medicine and he would ultimately become one of the most respected neurosurgeons in the world.

Carson is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for 29 years before retiring in 2013. 

In 2001, Carson was named by CNN and TIME magazine as one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. That same year, he was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 “Living Legends” on the occasion of its 200th anniversary. In 2004, Carson was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is also the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal which is the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP. In February 2008, Carson was presented with the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal by President Bush at the White House. In June 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the President, which is the highest civilian honor in the land. Carson was recognized in November 2008 by U.S. News & World Report and in 2009, the award-winning movie based on his memoir Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Carson, premiered on TNT.

Carson holds more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees and has received literally hundreds of awards and citations.  He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Science, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans and many other prestigious organizations. He sits on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, The Academy of Achievement, Vaccinogen (a cancer vaccine research & development company), and is an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University. Carson has spoken twice during the President’s National Prayer Breakfast in 1997 and 2013.

His first four books, Gifted Hands, THINK BIG, The Big Picture and Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk (January, 2008), provide inspiration and insight for leading a successful life; Both his fifth book, America The Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, released in 2012, and his sixth book, One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future, released in 2014, have made the New York Times best seller list. His latest book A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties came out in 2015.

Carson’s riveting presentation inspires audiences to take charge of their lives, no matter what obstacles confront them. Soft-spoken yet charismatic, Carson commands the stage. He captivates people with a compelling presentation that’s humorous, insightful and thought provoking-showing them the keys to turning great challenges into still greater triumphs.

Dr. Michael S. Horton

Baccalaureate Speaker

Dr. Michael S. Horton

Michael S. Horton is J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, Founder of White Horse Inn (whitehorseinn.org) and editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine (modernreformation.org).

He is the author of more than 30 books, and he serves as a minister in the United Reformed Churches.

He lives in Escondido, California, with his wife and four children.


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