Graduation boasts star-studded speakers: Paul Rice

By Erin Fogerty

Paul Rice will be speaking in the afternoon for the USD students graduating from the School of Business. This ceremony, which will also take place in the Jenny Craig Pavilion, will begin at 2 p.m.
Paul Rice is the founder, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in the US. Since Fair Trade USA was founded, over 800 business partnerships have been established with companies including Ben & Jerry’s and Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Rice’s goal is the spread of fair trade across all product categories.

Before Rice founded Fair Trade USA, he spent eleven years in the Segovias region of Nicaragua living and working with farmers. Fair Trade USA, through offering farmers an opportunity to earn a livable wage, has helped improved conditions in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Rice views every purchase as an opportunity to change the world. The socially responsible food movement led by Rice and other fair trade organizations may be the key to fighting global poverty. Rice, as he continues to develop a bigger and better model of fair trade, will call on the graduating seniors to join him in the fight to end global poverty.

Alexandra Kraker, a finance major in the School of Business, was excited to learn that Paul Rice would be her commencement speaker.

“I was excited to hear that the president of Fair Trade USA was speaking at gradation,” Kraker said. “I’m looking forward to hearing about Paul’s endeavors in social entrepreneurship.”

USD has been designated as a Changemaker Campus because of its commitment to prepare ethical leaders who are brave, innovative, compassionate and globally engaged.

Both graduation speakers are great examples of change makers. Brennan and Rice will hopefully inspire graduating students to put their degrees to best use and participate in social change all over the world.