Pittsburgh -- Jai Pausch, whose husband Randy inspired the world with his “Last Lecture,” will be the keynote speaker at Robert Morris University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, May 8. The ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Sewall Center Arena at RMU’s Moon Township campus.
Randy Pausch was a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in 2006. A year later, Pausch gave a talk describing how he had achieved his own childhood dreams and helped others achieve theirs, and he offered lessons the audience could apply to their lives. The upbeat and humorous talk became a YouTube sensation and was turned into a best-selling book co-authored by Pausch and Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow titled “The Last Lecture.” Pausch died July 25, 2008.
During Pausch’s 23-month battle with cancer, his wife took on the responsibility as his caregiver, learning specialized medical, palliative and hospice care. Since her husband’s death, Jai Pausch has became an impassioned advocate promoting pancreatic cancer research, helping to raise awareness and working on behalf of organizations including The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and The Lustgarten Foundation. She lives in Virginia with the couple’s three children.
“We admire how Jai Pausch has carried on her husband’s uplifting message with such strength and dignity. That message will resonate strongly with our students as they begin this exciting new phase in their lives,” said RMU President Gregory G. Dell’Omo.
Also speaking during the undergraduate ceremony will be graduating senior Julie Nelson, president of the RMU Class of 2010.
RMU will celebrate its 85th commencement this year. The ceremony for graduate students will take place at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 7, also in the Sewall Center Arena. The keynote speaker for that ceremony will be Dennis Yablonsky, chief executive officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community and Economic Development and former Pennsylvania secretary of community and economic development.
Media interested in covering any of the RMU commencement speeches should contact Jonathan Potts at firstname.lastname@example.org.