American billionaire Gabe Newell visits Sancta Maria College

Billionaire American gaming CEO Gabe Newell was a guest speaker at Sancta Maria College last week – an engagement kept under wraps by agreement.

Senior digital students were inspired by Newell at a special assembly.

Gabe Newell interacting and speaking to star-struck SMC students.

Newell, or “Gaben,” is a co-founder of the American gaming and software company Valve Corporation.

He’s currently living in New Zealand after having to lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic whilst visiting his family.

In October it was reported he is applying for NZ residency.

Digital Technologies teacher, Joanne Al-Rubaie, said she’d been searching for a guest speaker for her students.

On a whim, she reached out to Newell’s team but “didn’t really expect to hear back.”

“When I was contacted,” Al-Rubaie said, “I thought it was all a hoax.”

At the special assembly, Newell spoke of the changing world in technology as well as the challengers of being an entrepreneur.

A special Q&A panel allowed the students to ask questions about how Newell got into business and what he saw in store for the future of gaming.

When it was finished, Newell came down the auditorium aisle and high-fived all the students.

He stopped to engage with many students and even took a selfie or two.