April 22, 2022

The keynote speaker is Elizabeth McLellan, the president and founder of Partners for World Health.

PORTSMOUTH – Great Bay Community College will be celebrating its 76th Commencement for the class of 2022 on Saturday, May 14  at 10 a.m. at the college’s Portsmouth campus at the Pease Tradeport. The Commencement’s keynote speaker for the 288 student graduating class is a global leader in nursing and healthcare administration, Elizabeth McLellan, and the president and founder of Partners for World Health.

Partners for World Health, based in her home state of Maine, has built an organization of dedicated volunteers who collect and recycle discarded medical supplies, create collaborative healthcare partnerships in the United States and abroad and help them save money by lowering disposal fees, which positively impacts the environment.

“The events of the past few years have taught us all the importance of delivering medicine to all people in a timely and equitable manner,” said Dr. Cheryl Lesser, president of Great Bay Community College. “I am confident that the opportunity to hear from Elizabeth about her own experiences and the motivation behind her work will be timely and inspirational.”

McLellan began her career in international healthcare in 1986, when she joined the administration of a level one trauma center in Saudi Arabia. While working from Saudi ARAMCO, she participated in the development of multinational nursing staff before serving in an administrative capacity developing disaster plans for potential biological warfare during the Gulf War. She has traveled the world extensively and witnessed dramatic healthcare needs in many countries.

With vision and tenacity, McLellan returned to the United Stated ready to meet the challenges of worldwide medical supply deficiencies. She has worked as a Nursing Administrator for Maine Medical Center and is an active board member and past president of the World Affairs Council.

In addition to her work in international medicine, McLellan is active with Portland Museum of Art, Portland Ovations, and Maine Historical Society, among other organizations. She is an innovative thinker and developed the successful Blue Wrap Project Runway focusing on creating wearable fashion design made out of a surgical recycled fabric.

Having grown up on the Maine coast, McLellan attended American University and Northeastern University, earned graduate degrees from University of Southern Maine and Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health and earned a Doctorate in Public Service (Hon) from St. Joseph College. She has received numerous awards including the Hanley Center Leadership and Humanitarian Relief Award, the Red Cross Real Hero Award, and the Outstanding Non-Profit Award.

In addition to the Commencement ceremony, Nursing, Surgical Technology and Veterinary Technology students will also participate in pinning ceremonies held during the week.

Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic and professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth. The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit www.greatbay.edu.