MEDFORD, Massachusetts — Renowned race director and endurance athlete Dave McGillivray will give the commencement speech to the 2019 graduating class at his alma mater, Medford High School on June 5 at 6:00pm at the Tufts University Gantcher Center, 161 College Avenue, Medford. McGillivray graduated from Medford High School in 1972 and gave the valedictory address to his graduating class.
“What an honor to return 47 years later to give the commencement speech,” said McGillivray. “This will be very special to me and I hope to all the graduating students, too.”
McGillivray has given the commencement address on four other occasions: Newbury College, Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Tabor Academy, and his college alma mater, Merrimack College. McGillivray also gave the valedictory address at Merrimack in 1976.
“The Medford High School and Medford Vocational Technical High School senior class are honored to have Dave McGillivray as our guest speaker for the 2019 Commencement Exercises,” said Medford High School Headmaster Paul D’Alleva.
“We are so pleased that Dave McGillivray has accepted the Class of 2019’s invitation to serve as their Commencement Speaker,” said Dr. Marice Edouard-Vincent, Superintendent of the Medford Public Schools. “His personal story is one of motivation, purpose and philanthropy. He is a courageous leader who made a decision in 1978 to run from Medford, Oregon, to Medford, Massachusetts. He not only followed through on that plan, but also, raised much needed funding for the Jimmy Fund along the way. Dave McGillivray’s story is inspirational and serves as a role model for our students. He is an outstanding example of living life the Mustang Way, as he proudly made his mark on the world with determination and kindness. His Mustang Pride shines a light everywhere he goes.”
“I recently wrote a children’s book called ‘Dream Big,’ but I never dreamed I’d be back as the commencement speaker at my high school,” McGillivray said. “This is so very exciting for me. I still often use a line from my valedictory address: ‘The greatest failure in life is not to have tried and failed but to have never tried at all.’ This should be memorable.”
Last month McGillivray completed his 47th Boston Marathon, only six months after undergoing open-heart, triple-bypass surgery. He runs the course at night after his race director duties are complete and has done so for the past 32 years.
McGillivray, now a resident of North Andover, Massachusetts, is also known as an inspirational speaker who gives talks to schoolchildren and groups throughout the country. His 2018 children’s picture book, “Dream Big,” is about his first attempt at running the Boston Marathon. It’s also based on his 2006 autobiography, “The Last Pick,” which intimately recounts the mental and physical obstacles McGillivray faced that led to his 1978 cross-country run. In 2019, McGillivray will launch his second illustrated children’s book, “Running Across America: A True Story of Dreams, Determination, and Heading for Home,” which chronicles his 1978 run. Proceeds from the new book will benefit the Jimmy Fund.