The 2018 Ruffalo Noel Levitz National Conference will take place in Orlando July 24-26, and once again the conference will be packed with sessions on enrollment management, student success, and for the first time, higher education fundraising. We will have more than 150 breakout sessions for our 2,000 attendees.
We also have four very inspiring and insightful higher education keynote speakers that we are very eager to share with all of our attendees. They include a national journalist, a college president, a best-selling higher education researcher, and a speaker who will share what we can learn from Walt Disney’s life and work—a fitting closing keynote speaker for our Orlando conference!
These speakers will entertain, inform, and inspire. This is the 32nd year of the conference, and one of the great things for us to see is an audience who learns, laughs, and takes to heart what speakers like these four have to share.
Opening keynote speaker: Byron Pitts, “Step Out on Nothing”
Byron Pitts has achieved a great deal in his life. He is a multiple Emmy-award winning journalist and the co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline. He previously was at CBS, where he was the lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the September 11th attacks (for which he won an Emmy).
And yet, as he will share in his opening keynote, he had the odds heavily stacked against him. Drawing on his memoir Step Out on Nothing, he will discuss how he was a “functionally illiterate” elementary school student, endured bullies and humiliation through grade school, struggled with reading, and stuttered until he was 20 years old.
Even after scratching his way to Ohio Wesleyan University—remarkable given his background—his freshman literature professor told Mr. Pitts he was wasting everyone’s time. In the end, Mr. Pitts credits his determination to the strong women in his life, including his wise, spiritual mother, and a professor who he says not only “changed my life, she saved it.”