"As a Marylander I am excited and very much look forward to delivering this speech to the graduating students," Ripken says. "I hope that my life experience allows me to impart some wisdom and give them a message that will serve them as they start their careers. While I never attended college, opting to pursue my baseball career after high school, I have great respect for higher education and the great value it brings to young people."
Since his retirement in 2001, Ripken has founded Ripken Baseball Inc. to boost baseball at the grassroots level, and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, using baseball-themed programs to make a positive impact on young people in the nation's most challenged areas. In 2007, Ripken was named a special public diplomacy envoy on behalf of the U.S. State Department, traveling the world using baseball to spread goodwill.