NYA Welcomes Bill Burke as 2023 Commencement Speaker

Bill Burke - NYA Commencement Speaker 2023

courtesy of Bill Burke

Yarmouth, Maine, May 19, 2023: North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) is pleased to announce its 2023 commencement speaker is Bill Burke. Burke, who splits his time between New York City and Sebago Lake, founded The Optimism Institute  and Blue Sky podcast in 2022 after an extensive media and sports career as an executive, writer, and producer. NYA’s 209th Commencement will take place on Sunday, June 4, at 11:00 a.m. under the tent on Denney field, behind the Curtis Building, 148 Main Street, Yarmouth. The ceremony is open to the public.

Burke has a BA from Amherst College, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and was a Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard in 2022. He served as CEO of The Weather Channel Companies after several years at Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting System, where he was the founding general manager of Turner Classic Movies before going on to become president of TBS Superstation. Additionally, he was the co-owner and chairman of the Portland Sea Dogs for 15 years.

As a writer, Burke co-authored Ted Turner’s New York Times Best Selling autobiography, Call Me Ted, and later co-wrote/produced/directed “Live Another Day,” an award-winning feature-length documentary on the bailout of the U.S. automotive industry.

Burke is the past board chair of both MaineHealth, the largest integrated health system in the state of Maine, and Maine Medical Center, the largest hospital in northern New England. He has served on the boards of the U.S. Biathlon Association, Maine Public Broadcasting, Dead River Company, Simulmedia, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He is an honorary director of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

He is a lifelong optimist (he has to be – he’s a Detroit Lions fan) and launched The Optimism Institute with a mission to inspire people with an optimistic, hopeful vision of the world and its future. As the Optimist Institute’s website states: “There is always blue sky above, sometimes you just have to get your head above the clouds to see it.”

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to postgraduate students with an enrollment of 375 students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character, and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or information@nya.org and visit our website at NYA.org.