Alumna, CNN co-worker to speak at KWC graduation

By Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer
Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Kentucky Wesleyan College graduate now working in the international news business is returning to Owensboro for the 2011 commencement on May 14, accompanied by a colleague who will be the event’s keynote speaker.

Kelly Frank, 1996 graduate, is now an executive producer with CNN in Atlanta. Returning with her to Owensboro is one of her colleagues, CNN anchor and chief business correspondent Ali Velshi.

Both Frank and Velshi said that although today’s economy and job market is tough, they want students to know that where they’re at is a very good starting point for their lives.

“I went to a small school on a scholarship, and it led to really big things. I never in my life would have thought I’d be working at CNN when I was going to school at Wesleyan,” Frank said. “It’s really cool to be able to bring that back to campus and the area because I recognize it’s a really neat job I get to do every day, and exciting.”

Velshi said he’s also enthusiastic about the opportunity.

“I’m thrilled about it. I do a lot of speaking, and I go out to a lot of places, but my absolute favorites are universities and colleges,” Velshi said. “It’s where our future is, and I love being close to people who are making choices about the rest of their lives. A commencement exercise is new, it’s fun and it’s the beginning of the rest of their lives.”

Velshi said he hopes to give students confidence and hope for their future.

“If you were to watch just the news or listen to this, you’d definitely feel it’s a tough, tough world out there. The one thing we know that can make your life better … is an education. It is the one fix,” Velshi said. “By being there, we’re going to be at ground zero of the right decision. They are completing the most right decision you can make in this economy. That’s what I want to drive home.”

Frank said she also hopes that students understand that though KWC is small, that doesn’t mean they can’t go places.

“I had such a great, great experience at KWC. I still talk to some of my professors and am unbelievably grateful for the quality of the education I got there,” Frank said. “Any day of the week, I would stack up KWC with the larger schools because of the education. When you’re there, the sky is the limit.”

Kentucky Wesleyan College will hold commencement at 10 a.m. May 14 at the Hocker-Hall Grove on campus.


See more details on commencement and about Ali Velshi on our special Commencement 2011 page at

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