About Michael Verde
Founder and President of Memory Bridge: The Foundation for Alzheimer's and Cultural Memory
Michael Verde grew up in east Texas, where he played football, went to church, raised show pigs, and read so much it alarmed his high school counselor. Before graduating from high school, he won Guideposts magazine’s National Youth Writing Contest, and was elected president of American Legion’s Boy’s Nation.
Michael graduated with honors from the University of Texas’s prestigious Plan II Honors program. He earned a M.A. in literary studies from the University of Iowa, and a M.A. in theology from the University of Durham, England, where he graduated at the top of his international class.
Michael taught English for 10 years. At Lamar University where he began his teaching career he was named Teacher of the Year in his third year of teaching.
In 2003, Michael founded Memory Bridge. To date, Memory Bridge has connected over 8,000 people with and without dementia to each other in one-to-one relationships
In 2008, he produced the internationally acclaimed PBS documentary ‘There Is a Bridge’ that explores the power of empathetic attention to keep people with dementia emotionally connected to others.
In 2011, Memory Bridge was awarded Indiana University’s Educational Peace Prize to bring the Memory Bridge school initiative to South Africa.
Michael is the creator of the acclaimed Reading for Life salons which have received rave reviews in the USA and internationally.
Michael speaks across the world on the subjects of literature, world religions, and communicating with people with dementia. His clients include Northern Trust Bank; Chevron; St. Christopher’s Hospice, England; Alzheimer’s Association of Australia; the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the Vero Beach Museum.
He is currently pursuing a PhD in the area of empathetic education at Indiana University.