Toggle Menu

International Award-winning Author and Artist John Schlimm Selected as NPRC’s 2022 Commencement Speaker

Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NPRC) is pleased to welcome John Schlimm, international award-winning author, educator, artist, and advocate, as their 2022 Commencement speaker.

A native of St. Marys, Pa, John’s literary career spans twenty-five years and two-dozen books, including his Christopher Award-winning memoir Five Years in Heaven and his just-released children’s book The Star Jumped Over the Moon, which have been enjoyed around the world. His next book, What Would Gen-Z Do?, will debut in January 2023.

John’s work in the classroom and across the country as a Harvard-trained educator, artist, and advocate has also allowed him to engage with audiences of all ages about inspirational/motivational topics, mental health, animals, Gen-Z and The Imagination Generation, his participatory and interactive artwork, cooking/entertaining, and public relations. These appearances include his first university commencement address in 2012 titled “The Road to YES is Paved with Many NOs” and his “Embrace Compassion, Change the World” keynote address on Capitol Hill. John has appeared on such national media outlets as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, NPR, Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food, The Splendid Table, QVC, and EWTN’s The World Over.

In addition, John is the creator of several multimedia Participatory Art projects such as The Gen-Z Time Capsule in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum; The Kindness Rocks & Smiles Community Project in collaboration with Megan Murphy, Founder of The Kindness Rocks Project; and THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours). His newest mental health- and creativity-focused collaborations, The Brain Zine and The Smile Zine, will be launched later this Spring.

John’s service and contributions to our region and communities across the country are grounded in kindness, love, and hope. He shares, “Every step of my career has been about using the gifts I’ve been given in this life to connect with people here at home and beyond. We are all teachers and students in ever-reversing roles, and so while I try to help folks to discover and embrace the beauty and potential of their gifts and their imperfections, they do the same for me. I believe in meeting people where they are and helping them to rise from there, while joining them for the amazing journey.”

John added, “Since NPRC was founded, I have been a number one fan of their innovative mission to make education more accessible and to connect students with the necessary tools and resources to fuel their unique talents and passions. I’m looking very forward to crossing paths with this year’s graduates and the larger NPRC community on commencement day, so that we might all rise from that extraordinary moment toward the brightest future together!”

The 2022 Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at the Dam Inn in Wilcox. The ceremony will be open to attendance in person or viewed via livestream.