Tabor Alumnus Gary Speese As Commencement Speaker

Tabor College announces that alumnus Gary Speese of San Diego has been chosen to speak to graduates and their families at the upcoming commencement ceremony on May 15.

Originally from Kansas City, Mo., Speese transferred to Tabor in fall 1981 after spending two years at Wayland Baptist University, studying pre-med and playing basketball. He desired to move closer to home, be at a smaller campus environment, and switch his major to business and computer science.

After three years at Tabor, Speese graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and computer science in 1984.

“Among my greatest joys was being on a smaller campus, serving as student body president (1983-84), and connecting with many people from all over the world,” he said. “My heart grew closer to God as I continued to live, learn, grow and mature in Christ.”

After Tabor, Speese spent 10 years with IBM in sales, marketing and management and earned a master’s degree from Friends University during this timeframe. He also worked in the technology sector, later migrating to real estate and mortgage banking. With the real estate collapse in 2009, Speese sold off his real estate holdings, as well as the mortgage business, and began looking for his next adventure. God impressed upon his heart to turn his sights toward K-12 education.

Speese has served several roles the past 13 years in teaching, student services and administration in Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and now in San Diego.

“I love Southern California for the weather, beaches, diversity of people, opportunity to serve and the jazz concerts,” he said about serving seaside.

In his spare time, Speese flourishes in the “Gig-Economy” as an entrepreneur in the rental-car space, and is an investor in day trading and swing trading.

“My personal passion still remains to serve God and grow in his character while touching the lives of students, family members, and those that I come in contact with,” he said. “Enjoying the journey in the abundant life of Christ is awesome and worth sharing with the world.”

Besides working with youth, Speese said he continues to walk in love as a dad raising and equipping three beautiful daughters ages 23, 26 and 28, all who still live in Minnesota, with the help of their mom.

“Over the years, I have invited successful Tabor alumni as Commencement speakers to demonstrate to our graduates that a Tabor education has value,” said President Jules Glanzer. “Mr. Speese is a gifted communicator, successful businessman and educator. He is a great example of what one can be and become as a Tabor alum.”