CPHS to host Special Forces Major for Convocation

Campbell University 2016 Winter Commencement

The College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at Campbell University is honored to announce Major Ivan Castro as the keynote speaker for its opening convocation ceremony on Friday, August 21. The College begins each new academic year with a convocation ceremony to gather all students together, to welcome new and returning students, and to honor those students who will be graduating the current academic year. 


MAJ Castro has served Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Deployments to Bosnia, Albania, and Kosovo, multiple deployments to South and Central America, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom. He continues to serve on active duty assigned to Fort Liberty, North Carolina.


Castro was injured while serving as a First Lieutenant with the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom, September 2, 2006. He sustained life threatening injuries and was blinded in both eyes when mortar shells landed near him killing two men in his unit.


Castro’s determination, strength and motivation are repeatedly displayed. He battled back from his injuries to return to active duty and subsequently became the first blind graduate of the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, Georgia.  Since his injury, Castro has participated in more than fifty marathons, including the New York, Boston and Marine Corps Marathons. In 2012, Castro challenged himself further by cycling across America. In 2013, he joined an international team of injured service members and trekked 200 miles across Antarctica to reach the South Pole in an expedition to bring awareness to what can be accomplished by individuals with disabilities.


“Having Major Castro address the students, faculty, and staff of the College is an exciting way to mark the beginning of this academic year,” said Michael L. Adams, PharmD, PhD, dean of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. “It is my hope that his stories of endurance and overcoming adversity will inspire us all to lead more purposeful lives of meaningful service.”


Photo: MAJ Ivan Castro and Prince Harry at the South Pole, December 2013


Learn more about Convocation here