Naomi Judd to Speak at 143rd Berea College Commencement

Naomi Judd Commencement SpeakerKentucky-born, Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, author, motivational speaker, and actress Naomi Judd, will speak at Berea College’s 143rd Commencement, Sunday, May 3, 2015. Judd, who has close ties to Berea, will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the College during the Commencement program, which will be held in the Seabury Arena.

Naomi Judd, a single mom and registered nurse from small-town Kentucky, first captured the hearts of the world performing with her daughter Wynonna as The Judds. The popular country music duo earned many accolades, including twenty Top 10 hits, 20 million records sold, seven consecutive CMA Vocal Group of the Year trophies, and six Grammys, including Country Song of the Year for “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

The career of this mother-daughter duo was cut short when Judd was stricken with Hepatitis C, a potentially-fatal, chronic liver disease that she contracted while working as a nurse. The devastating diagnosis and prediction of just three years to live caused The Judds to bid their fans farewell. But Judd fought back, physically and mentally. Today, she is more than a survivor; she is Hepatitis C-free—a medically documented miracle—leading Judd to her current mission: to empower people through holistic health and wellness advocacy incorporating the mind, body, and spirit.

“My message is to help people understand that our thoughts can help us or hurt us,” Judd says. “Whatever we believe becomes our biology.”

Judd’s story is a quintessentially American lesson in perseverance and the life-altering power of positive thinking, and Berea College is pleased to honor the accomplished and inspirational Naomi Judd as its 2015 Commencement speaker.

Categories: News, People
Tags: commencement, Event, graduation, Naomi Judd, Students

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.