Susan Martinelli Shea, secretary and principal of Stands, LLC, the company that owns the Lexington Legends, will be the keynote speaker at the Midway University commencement ceremony Saturday, May 13.
The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at the Graves Amphitheater on the Midway campus.
"It's an honor for us to welcome Susan Martinelli Shea to campus for what will be an historic commencement ceremony," said Midway University President John P. Marsden in the school's announcement about the address. "She has dedicated her entire professional life to working with underserved students as a teacher and nonprofit leader. I have no doubt that Susan will inspire Midway's graduates as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives."
Shea holds a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. Her career in education includes teaching positions in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas, and extensive work in Philadelphia's inner city, where she reorganized the learning support program in The Gesu School. She is chair of the school's faculty support committee and a board member.
She also founded "Dancing with the Students," a non-profit organization that teaches ballroom dancing to students in grades four through high school in 17 schools within the Philadelphia system. In 2017, she introduced the program to the students of the Crawford Middle School in Lexington.
"This is an honor and a privilege for me to speak to the graduating class of 2017 at Midway University," she said. "My goal is to let them know that this is a beginning for them, not an ending. My path that led me to this occasion at Midway University has not been a straight line. I would like to share that with the graduates."
Shea is the mother of Andy and Steve Shea. Andy Shea is the Legends' president and CEO.
"I am so proud and excited that my mother is the commencement speaker at Midway University's graduation," Andy Shea said. "She is a true inspiration to everyone she reaches in her life."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.