Charity Entrepreneur, Author, Global Speaker to Deliver Averett University’s Spring Commencement Address

Posted on April 26th, 2022 by Matt Bell

Emmanuel “Manny” Ohonme, the co-founder, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Feet International, will speak to graduates at Averett University’s Spring Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 7. The 10 a.m. ceremony will be held on Daly Field at Frank R. Campbell Stadium at Averett’s E. Stuart James Grant North Campus, 707 Mt. Cross Rd. in Danville.

The University will graduate almost 200 students between the traditional programs and Averett Online this commencement. More than 35% of the graduates completed their degrees through Averett Online. A total of nine are veterans, and nine countries are represented including the countries of Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Sweden. The age range of graduates is 21 to 63.

Ohonme’s Samaritan’s Feet International is a non-profit organization that shares hope with those in need by washing their feet and giving them a new pair of shoes.

Growing up in Nigeria, Ohonme received his first pair of tennis shoes at the age of nine from a “Good Samaritan” visiting his country. Those shoes became a symbol of hope as he earned a college basketball scholarship in the United States and began a career in the technology industry. But Manny never forgot the children of his homeland or the “Good Samaritan” that encouraged him to believe in his dreams.

In 2003, Manny and his wife, Tracie, founded Samaritan’s Feet and have distributed more than 8.7 million pairs of shoes in 108 countries and over 530 U.S. cities.

Because of his eclectic career and inspiring life-story, Manny is a sought-after panelist and global speaker on topics like strategy, vision, purpose, leadership and social justice, and has worked with companies and leaders around the world.

Manny currently serves as the chair of the International Board of Directors for Sanford Health. He’s the recipient of the 2021 Pontifical Hero Award for Inspiration from the Vatican and the Cura Foundation. He serves on the NC USGLC Advisory Board. He is the founder and president of Barefoot Legacies Group, author of Sole Purpose, and the developer of the World Shoe, a bio-degradable footwear with built-in innovation to curb the spread of foot-borne diseases affecting over 1.5 billion people worldwide.

Manny is committed to the betterment of communities worldwide and wants to repay that encouraging gift he received at the age of nine by creating a world with zero shoeless children. Manny and Tracie reside in Charlotte, North Carolina and have four children, one of whom attends Averett.

Commencement attendees will need a ticket to enter, and bags will be checked beforehand. Each graduate has a certain number of tickets to distribute among family and friends. Entry into Frank R. Campbell Stadium will pause at 9:45 a.m. to allow graduates to process onto Daly Field, and then reopen after the invocation.