Eric Greitens selected as commencement speaker

Former United States Navy SEAL officer, humanitarian worker and award-winning author Eric Greitens will deliver this year’s commencement address, according to Director of Public Relations Kim Thurler.

Greitens is currently a Senior Fellow at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri and in the MBA Program at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

“I was honored to be asked, and I’m looking forward to speaking at Tufts for commencement this year,” he told the Daily in an email.

Greitens will also receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters, as will Former University President Lawrence Bacow. Nurse Manager of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program clinic at St. Francis House Cecilia Ibeabuchi and Chairman, President and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. Farooq Kathwari will receive honorary doctorates of public service and Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University Bonnie Bassler will receive an honorary doctorate of science.

Greitens, a Rhodes and Truman scholar, wrote a thesis at the University of Oxford on how international humanitarian organizations can best serve war-affected children. He served four tours of duty during the Global War on Terrorism.

Greitens’ second book, “The Heart & the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL,” describes his experiences in the military and as a humanitarian. It became a New York Times bestseller following its timely release in May 2011, when Osama bin Laden was assassinated by a team of Navy SEALs. His first book, “Strength and Compassion” (2008), is a collection of writing and photography about his humanitarian work around the world and was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2009 New York Book Festival.

“I have a lot of admiration for Tufts as a University, and especially for Tufts students who are dedicated to citizenship and leadership in a global context,” he said. “Commencement is a beautiful day to be enjoyed both by the students who are graduating, and by the proud families that have supported them. If I can add a note of inspiration about the great possibilities that every graduate has to lead a life of courage, of compassion, and of purpose, then I’ll be very pleased.”