Bestselling author Dr. Timothy Shriver named Gardner Institute Impact Scholar

Special Olympics Chairman and bestselling author Dr. Timothy Shriver has been named an Impact Scholar at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, where he  will spend several days each semester participating in guest lectures, roundtable discussions with state  and local officials, and consult with university and community leaders. Dr. Shriver is also the Chair and  Co-Founder of UNITE, an initiative to promote national unity and solidarity across differences. 

His upcoming visit (April 19-20) includes time on campus and in communities across Utah that will be  spent engaging business and elected leaders, university leaders, and guest lecturing at the U’s College of  Education. Dr. Shriver will visit campus in the Fall and Spring semester for the next three years, sharing  insights on dignity, education, public service, and his work on behalf of people with disabilities. Dr.  Shriver has also been named the 2023 University of Utah General Commencement speaker and will  return to the U in May.  

“We welcome the opportunity to bring the tremendous expertise and knowledge of Dr. Shriver to our  campus,” said University of Utah President Taylor Randall. “As an Impact Scholar, Dr. Shriver will share  how social and emotional learning skills like empathy, self-awareness, and perspective-taking can help  our community ease division, prevent violence, and solve problems.” 

“I’ve been blessed throughout my career to have a front row seat to see the best in humanity – young  people who aspire to make a difference; Special Olympics athletes who prove the power of the human  spirit; religious leaders and scholars who teach the lessons of the heart,” said Shriver. “I’m deeply  honored to be invited to share these lessons I’ve learned with the students and faculty at the University,  and equally excited about the chance to learn from them. I can’t wait!” 

As Chairman of Special Olympics, Dr. Shriver has driven the largest expansion of the organization,  growing the movement from one million athletes to over six million athletes in 193 countries around the  world. He has authored a best-selling book and produced numerous Hollywood films. Before joining the  Special Olympics in 1996, Shriver co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social,  and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading school reform organization in the field of social and  emotional learning (SEL).