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9/11 Survivor Named Commencement Speaker

Commencement Speaker 2024: Dan Holdridge

Mitchell College marks its 80th Commencement Exercises on Sat., May 11, with 9/11 survivor Dan Holdridge delivering the keynote address to the Class of 2024. The ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. on the Mitchell College Green.

On September 11, 2001, Holdridge was at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building, killing 184 people. Suffering from serious injuries, he was just 10 feet away from others who did not survive. Since 2002 he has used his experience that day to work to inspire audiences with a powerful message of appreciation and leadership.

Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, Mitchell College president, said, “We are truly honored to welcome Connecticut native Dan Holdridge to deliver the keynote address to our graduating class. As a survivor of one of our country’s most tragic events, he will share a message of gratitude and resiliency that will inspire and empower our students. We look forward to learning from the wisdom and insight he gained through his powerful and life-changing experience.”

The historic day’s events were also captured in Holdridge’s best-selling book, “Surviving September 11th,” and his story has been featured on the BBC, NBC, Fox, and radio shows throughout the world.

In addition to being a keynote speaker, Holdridge is CEO of Eagle Electric Engineering Enterprise, based in Ashaway, RI. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and an Executive Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of New Haven.