Worcester State University Announces Adrianne Haslet as 2024 Commencement Speaker

March 30, 2024
By: Maureen Stokes

Former professional ballroom dancer and runner Adrianne Haslet, who survived the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, will be Worcester State University’s undergraduate commencement speaker at its 148th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2024. The ceremony begins promptly at 10 a.m. at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts.  

Haslet was at the peak of her career as a dancer when she survived the Boston Marathon terrorist attack in 2013 where she lost her left leg. She learned an entirely new way to navigate her daily life in the face of this new challenge and inspired others around the globe, appearing in her own CNN documentary “The Survivor Diaries” with Anderson Cooper which detailed her first year as an amputee. Her debut TED talk has over 18+ million views.

Haslet has spoken alongside then Vice President Biden, President Clinton, and the President of Nepal. She travels the globe giving keynote talks to thousands, including the commencement address at Baylor College of Medicine, talks in Kenya, Ecuador, Nepal, Ireland, and Copenhagen, as well as a tour across Canada. She has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, People, and Time magazine as well as been named one of Cosmo’s Most Powerful Women and Bing’s most Inspirational Women. Her most cherished award was being honored by the ADL at the Kennedy Center for her work speaking out against terrorism, antisemitism, and hate.

Haslet has since become a distance runner, and ran in multiple Boston Marathons, most recently in April, coming in 4th place in the division she advocated for six years. Just two months later, Adrianne took the win at the B.A.A. 10k. Adrianne’s quote, “I refuse to be called a victim. A victim is defined by something that happened in their life. I am a survivor, defined by how I live my life,” rings true for everyone struggling with something in their own lives.

“We’re appreciative to have Adrianne join us to provide a message of inspiration, resilience and hope for our students this commencement season,” stated Barry M. Maloney, president of Worcester State University.

For additional information including parking, tickets, cap and gown orders, please visit 2024 Undergraduate Commencement website.

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