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HBCUs Have the BEST Commencement Speakers!

Posted by HBCU Pride & Joy on 4/28/2017
HBCUs Have the BEST Commencement Speakers!
Almost everyone recalls moments from their college graduation such as who attended, gifts they received and of course the memorable class song. For historically black colleges and universities, the commencement speaker is one of the most important aspects of the ceremony and program. Faculty and administrators go to great lengths to find notable and high profile figures to speak at the graduation to encourage and motivate new graduates. 

Last year, President Obama helped to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Howard University by delivering the commencement address to the Spring 2016 class. This year, once again HBCU’s will welcome actors, politicians, activists and heroes to their campus to share a word with their graduating class. Some of the speakers scheduled to address the Spring 2017 graduating classes at HBCU’s include: 

  • Actress Phylicia Rashad - Most known for her role as the wife and mother on The Cosby Show, Rashad will bring the commencement address at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Arkansas. Ms. Rashad is also an HBCU alum and graduate of Howard University. 
  • Katherine Johnson – Mrs. Johnson will deliver the graduation speech at Hampton University. A former physicist, she is one of the ladies depicted in the book and movie, Hidden Figures. She is also an HBCU alum having graduated from West Virginia State University. 
  • Jennifer Benjamin Pinckney - The widow of slain Senator Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a victim of the racially motivated South Carolina church shooting, will speak to the graduating class at Central State University in Ohio. This will likely be an emotional speech that will both move and inspire. 
  • Senator Kamala Harris – A representative of the state of California, Senator Harris will return to her beloved alma mater, Howard University, as this year’s commencement speaker. She also previously served as Attorney General of California. 
  • Tom Joyner – This well-known radio personality and community activist Tom Joyner will speak at two HBCU’s this graduation season. He will address graduates, parents and guests at both Shaw University (Raleigh, NC) and Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN). 
  • Joe Biden – Our former Vice President, Joe Biden, will be the commencement speaker at Morgan State University in Maryland. Having served as second in command to President Obama for two terms, his speech is sure to be a call to lead and serve. 
Part of tradition, Honorary Degrees will be conferred upon the graduation speaker. Consequently, commencement speakers at HBCU’s are also selected to bring added esteem and honor to the reputation of the college or university. With all of the busyness and excitement of the day, graduates can often become distracted and not recall what is said in the commencement address. But, with this list of insightful speakers, they should leave the graduation not only ready to pursue their dreams and goals, but also having a sense of commitment and obligation to serve others and make their name count in this world.

Congratulations Graduates!!
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