University of Utah President David W. Pershing and the Board of Trustees announced that Elizabeth “Liz” Murray—a writer and inspirational speaker whose life story “From Homeless to Harvard” has touched millions—will deliver the university’s general commencement address on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
Murray grew up in the Bronx in the 1980s and 90s, a daughter of cocaine-addicted parents, in a home where there were always plenty of drugs, but never enough money or food. By age 15, Murray’s mother had died of HIV, her father left and she was homeless. She lived on the streets, riding the subway all night and eating from dumpsters. But with incredible determination against seemingly impossible odds, Murray finished high school in New York City in just two years, received a scholarship from the New York Times and graduated from Harvard University in June 2009.