Commencement Committee

2014 Undergraduate Commencement Speaker


Travis Roy Photo
Travis Roy is a powerful motivational speaker and a former college ice hockey player for Boston University. On October 20, 1995 – just eleven seconds into his first-ever shift for Boston University men's ice hockey team – a 20-year-old Roy slid head-first into the boards, cracking his fourth vertebra and leaving him a quadriplegic. That fateful October night in 1995 signaled the death of one dream - but also the eventual rebirth of a special kind of hope. Although imprisoned for months in a hospital bed, then confined to a wheelchair, Travis gradually found the grit and the will to reclaim for himself a fulfilling and productive life. Roy and Sports Illustrated writer E.M. Swift wrote his autobiography, Eleven Seconds.

Travis has spoken to various corporations, universities and high schools across the country. He speaks on conquering life’s hurdles, setting goals, and his overall experiences in life.

Travis set up the "The Travis Roy Foundation,” to help spinal cord injury survivors and to fund research for a cure. Inspired by Travis' own story, the lifeblood of the Travis Roy Foundation has been the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations across North America. This generosity has made an immediate impact on the lives of many individuals. Since 1997, the Travis Roy Foundation has distributed more than $4.5 million in individual grants as well as to research projects and rehabilitation institutions across North America. The Travis Roy Foundation is uniquely positioned to touch individual lives with its focus on providing adaptive equipment and sponsoring research.