Commencement 2018 to Feature Mpumi Nobiva, International Speaker
Montverde Academy is proud to announce that Mpumi Nobiva, international speaker and communication strategist, will deliver the Commencement Address for the Class of 2018 Commencement on May 26 in the Montverde Academy Center for Sportsmanship and Wellness. Additionally, David Phelps, Grammy award winning artist, and Ben Gulley, opera tenor, will be featured performers in the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.
Ms. Nobiva speaks internationally, sharing her story of overcoming odds to empower and inspire others. She was born in a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, to a 17-year old mother, who died of HIV/AIDS when Nobiva was nine. Raised by her grandmother, she says she was “reared in material poverty but spiritual wealth.” She entered the first class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in 2007, graduating in 2011 among the top in her class. Nobiva earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies in the United States at Johnson C. Smith University, in Charlotte, N.C., followed by her master’s degree in strategic communications on a Graduate Presidential Scholarship at High Point University in High Point, N.C.
David Phelps, an artist who has topped the Billboard Music Chart and won a number of Grammy and Dove Awards, will sing during the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. Phelps was a member of the popular and prestigious Gaither Vocal Band for more than 15 years, and has achieved success as a solo artist as well. With a vocal range that extends more than three octaves, his performances have enthralled and inspired audiences worldwide.
Ben Gulley, award-winning operatic tenor and BMI songwriter/recording artist, will also perform during the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. Gulley's career is flourishing with lead roles in opera, solo engagements, concert work, film work, nationwide touring, and prestigious appearances abroad from Carnegie Hall to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. He has earned numerous awards and been hailed “as an outstanding tenor − with a voice as seamless as simple speech − incredible” by Opera News. He is a former member of the top 10 Billboard Charts SONY/BMG recording group The American Tenors, and has written and recorded his own original pop/R&B album “In Between.”