University of Texas at Austin alumna, New York Times best-selling author, and TED Talk record-breaker Brené Brown is heading back to the Forty Acres, this time to deliver a very special address.
On Thursday, January 23, the university announced Brown has been selected to deliver this year's keynote commencement speech on May 23. Brown is scheduled to speak to students, parents, families, faculty, and staff at 8 pm on the campus' Main Mall. With more than 9,000 students eligible to receive their degree this spring, it's likely to be quite a large audience.
In classic Brown fashion, she was candid about her reaction to being chosen as this year's commencement speaker.
“I just started crying because my path to UT was long and hard,” Brown said in a release. “The fact that I’ll be giving the commencement address in front of the Tower — at a school that I love and one that I fought to be a part of — is amazing. I’m deeply honored to be asked to share my story and to be a part of this incredibly important day for the Class of 2020. Horns up.”
Brown received a bachelor's degree in social work from the university in 1995. Today, she is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation-Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work.
“Brené Brown is an extraordinary scholar, educator, and author, but more than anything, she connects with others on a deeply human level,” said UT President Gregory L. Fenves in a release. “It is a great honor that Dr. Brown has agreed to speak to the Class of 2020 — many of whom have already been inspired and enlightened by reading her bestselling books and watching her acclaimed lectures.”
Brown fans who don't know any UT grads sadly won't be able to catch her address in-person, but you can watch via UT's live webcast or catch her at this year's SXSW.