... Fun fact: Keflezighi, who was born in Eritrea, emigrated to the U.S. in 1987. Service. Instead, it’s simple math: one is or one isn’t American. Reach out to the author: contact and available social following information is listed in the top-right of all news releases. Born in Eritrea, Africa, Keflezighi and his family escaped famine, drought and a brutal war of liberation from Ethiopia, eventually making their way to San Diego. . New York Marathon Winner: Not a ‘Real’ American? National University Launches Coding Bootcamp Professional Development Program With Sabio Enterprises, Inc. National University Trustees Approve Major Tuition Cut; Up to 25 Percent for Full-time Students, 2015 Commencement Keynote Speaker Boston Marathon Champion Meb Keflezighi. MEB (Maintaining Excellent Balance) Foundation. I want to applaud their successes and to encourage them to pursue their passions to contribute for the greater good.”. Keflezighi and National University have joined forces over the years to celebrate the accomplishments of the nation’s adult and lifelong learners, with Meb as a featured guest speaker at two National University commencements and the recipient of an honorary doctorate. Sport: Track and field. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. As I’ve said before, change does not come easily and without resistance of one kind or another and unfortunately, this anti-immigrant and anti-minority backlash will exist for the foreseeable future. . The Cherokee were subsequently evicted from their lands and in the infamous “Trail of Tears” episode of American history, forcibly marched from northwestern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee one thousand miles westward. But I kept thinking of something my father told me when I was growing up, “God has great plans for you.” Americans are kidding themselves if they say he represents a resurgence of American distance prowess! 8885551212, Instructions for Zip Code input: International? But, some said, because he was born in Eritrea, he is not really an American runner. The 2016 National University Northern California Commencement Ceremony is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 1, at the Sacramento Convention Center. “Meb is an inspiration to us all, and we are thrilled to have him as our keynote speaker for this year’s commencement,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, National University President and Chancellor of the National University System. About National University Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. As their percentage of the U.S. population continues to shrink, as non-Whites become increasingly prominent in our society (represented at the very top by Barack Obama), and with the recession heightening their fears and insecurities, many White Americans have reacted angrily to their traditional “way of life” being threatened. This institutional mentality has a long tradition throughout American history. Neither does being a naturalized citizen. My wife, Yordanos, tried to comfort me. Which isn’t to say that naturalized Americans are more American than domestically-born Americans; being American isn’t a question of degrees. “We are very excited and honored that he is taking time from his very busy training schedule to speak to our graduating students and share his inspiring story of endurance and perseverance.”. Having immigrated to the United States at age 12, he is an American citizen and a product of American distance running programs at the youth, college and professional levels. He also oversees the MEB (Maintaining Excellent Balance) Foundation, which is committed to promoting youth health, education and fitness. Media contact:Anna CearleyDirector of Public Relations firstname.lastname@example.org. Raising three daughters with his wife, Yordanos, Keflezighi also oversees the MEB (Maintaining Excellent Balance) Foundation, which is committed to promoting youth health, education and fitness.