Of the four campuses operated by the Connecticut State University System, Western Connecticut State University is recognized for its focus on music and the arts. The university recently announced plans for a $97 Million facility to house their School of Visual and Performing Arts. To celebrate the construction of the new facility, the university’s search committee set out to find a commencement speaker who exemplified a commitment to the arts and community service.
While Digital Strategy Works is generally focused on web and mobile application development, from time to time the company brokers agreements with recording artists and other notables on behalf of its clients. The university’s search committee contacted DSW founder, Tony Zeoli, who assisted in securing notable recording artist, Wyclef Jean, to give the 2010 commencement address on May 23.
In an unlikely turn of events, WestConn received confirmation of Wyclef’s participation in commencement exercises on the morning of January 12, just a few hours before a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, Jean’s homeland. Since that tragic day, Wyclef and his foundation, Yele´ Haiti, have worked tirelessly to assist in relief efforts for the stricken country, raising millions of dollars and providing logistics assistance and supplies.
“We’re excited that Wyclef Jean has agreed to speak at our undergraduate commencement ceremonies in May,” James W. Schmotter, the WestConn president, said in a press release. “His artistic achievements and his long and impressive record of humanitarian work have recently been underscored by his role in galvanizing the international response to the terrible tragedy in his homeland. I know that he will bring a message that will engage and inspire our graduates and all in attendance.”