A 1994 Central College graduate will speak at the college’s Commencement ceremony. Dean Furness is the featured guest of the event at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium.

After becoming paralyzed following an accident in 2011, Furness speaks to groups via large keynotes and small settings about grit, determination and what it takes to keep moving through daily challenges. His story was recognized as a “Top 20 of 2020” TED Talk, garnering more than 3.5 million views. A significant part of Furness’ story details his adventures in wheelchair racing, leading him to compete in major marathons around the country, including the Chicago and Boston marathons.

“I haven’t cured cancer, and I’m not the CEO of a billion-dollar company. I’m just living my life to the best of my abilities, and I want students to know that that’s okay, too,” Furness says. “It’s the strong connections and meaningful relationships I developed while at Central that make me who I am. Without them, I would not have the success in my wheelchair that I do today.”

Professionally, Furness is a data and analytics specialist at Wells Fargo, focused on data visualization and digital dashboard solutions to help executives with decision-making activities.

For more information on Commencement, visit central.edu/commencement.