Bridges to Prosperity CEO Avery Bang to Address Episcopal Collegiate Graduates in School's 15th Commencement
Episcopal Collegiate School will award diplomas to the 44 members of the Class of 2018 in the School's 15th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 19, 2018.
Keynote Speaker will be Avery Bang, CEO of Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), a Denver, Colo.-based charity that partners with rural, isolated communities to build footbridges over impassable rivers. The bridges connect community members to opportunities and resources that were previously unsafe to access, like healthcare, education, and economic opportunities.
Since joining B2P, Bang has spearheaded the rebuilding of four bridges in Haiti caused by 2016's Hurricane Matthew, along with over 250 additional bridges around the world. She and the team of leaders she has assembled at B2P partner with local residents to build the footbridges, and in doing so, build community members' skills to ensure the bridge is properly maintained. The B2P team also hires local engineers, foremen, masonry workers, construction workers, enumerators, and more to work in-country on various bridge sites.
Bang joined B2P as a volunteer in 2006. Since then, she has been a featured speaker at TED Women and the United Nations NEXUS Summit in New York. She was selected as one of the American Society of Civil Engineers Fresh Faces in 2011, recognizing the top 10 Civil Engineers under 30.
Bang teaches Cable Supported Pedestrian Bridge Design at the University of Colorado in the Mortenson Center for Engineering in Developing Communities. She completed her graduate degree in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Iowa. Both institutions have honored her with distinguished alumni awards. Avery received an honorary doctorate degree from Clarkson University in 2014.
Avery also completed an MBA at Säid Business School at the University of Oxford, where she was selected as the Managing Director of the Oxford Seed Fund. She was featured in the IMAX film Dream Big and was named one of the world's top 25 most newsworthy engineers by Engineering News Record.
Head of School David Perkinson said, "We are thrilled that Ms. Bang will be sharing her story of leadership and service with our community. She is a shining example of a person of high character and intellect who is dedicated to making a difference in the world."