February 9, 2023

Great Bay Community College will be celebrating its 77th Commencement for the class of 2023 on Saturday, May 13 at the college’s Portsmouth campus at the Pease Tradeport. US Paralympic National Team member, Survivor season 43 contestant, founder of The Born to Run Foundation and New Hampshire native, Noelle Lambert, will serve as the keynote speaker.

“Noelle’s story of perseverance, grit, and passion to help others is a message that will inspire our graduates as they continue their education and begin their careers,” said Dr. Cheryl Lesser, Great Bay Community College president. “Many of our students have to overcome obstacles to complete their goals at Great Bay and Noelle’s resilience will resonate and inspire them throughout their lifetime.”

Lambert is a native of Londonderry and a 2019 UMass Lowell graduate where she played lacrosse. During the summer of 2017, she suffered a life-changing injury from a moped crash which resulted in amputating her left leg above the knee. Despite the tragedy, Lambert never let the severe injury defeat her and she returned to the lacrosse field and scored a goal. After graduating from UMass Lowell, she switched to track and earned a place on Team USA for the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo where she placed sixth in the 100-meter race, setting a US record. In addition to track, Lambert took up snowboarding and placed fourth in the 2021 Europa Cup in the Netherlands and she hopes to compete in the 2026 Paralympics in Italy. In 2018, she founded The Born to Run Foundation which aims to provide amputees with prosthetics that will allow them to run again. She has received numerous prestigious awards including the Boston Celtics’ Heroes Among Us Award, America East Inspiration Award and most recently, the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth National Honoree.

“I am excited for the opportunity to share my story with Great Bay Community College students as I believe I can inspire them to overcome adversity,” said Noelle Lambert. “I want to convey that despite hardships, anything is possible with commitment and a raw desire to achieve excellence. I also want to share my mission of giving back and helping other amputees achieve greatness through The Born to Run Foundation.”

GBCC will host two commencement ceremonies in the gymnasium. The ceremony for non-health related programs begins at 10 a.m. and health-related programs at 2 p.m.