Paul's Open Road

PAUL LEBLANC

President
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

“Super smarts and talent are overrated. There are lots of smart people that fail all the time because they don’t show up. It’s great to be smart, but it’s better to have an incredible work ethic.”

INTERESTS:

Education Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Determination Support & Encouragement Fulfillment Hard Work Education Success Family Individualism

FOUNDATION:

Upholding a Cause and Belief

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Born in Canada, where he grew up speaking French as his first language—immigrated to the United States with his family when he was young.
  • Grew up in a neighborhood where no one, not even in his own family, had ever gone to college—admits that he thought college was only for the rich and that it wasn’t accessible to him.
  • After high school, he was planning on joining the military, but while attending a new student orientation visit at a college with his friends, he decided that going to college was a better path.
  • Spent most of his adolescent and young adult life living in poverty—says that he lived off of food stamps while in college.
  • Attended Framingham State University as a criminal justice major with the intent of becoming a police officer—was encouraged by a professor to instead pursue his love of books and major in English.
  • Through a connection at Boston College, he received a fellowship that paid his tuition and enabled him to receive his master’s degree in English; he began teaching shortly afterwards.
  • He went on to receive his doctorate in rhetoric and composition from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • He is now the president of Southern New Hampshire University, the second-largest online university in the U.S., dedicated to providing affordable educational opportunities.

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