ORANGEBURG, SC – SC State University will hold its Spring Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 10, at 6 p.m. at the Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. New Jersey senator and 2020 presidential candidate, Cory Booker, will deliver the commencement speech to the 2019 graduating class.

A native of Washington, D.C, Booker has dedicated his life to fighting for those who have been left out, left behind or left without a voice. In 1996, he moved to Newark, New Jersey, and founded a nonprofit organization to provide legal services for low-income families, helping tenants take on slumlords, improve their living conditions and stay in their homes.

At age 29, Booker was elected to the Newark City Council, and beginning in 2006, he served as Newark’s mayor for more than seven years. He said he is running for president to reignite a spirit of common purpose to build a fairer and just nation for everyone.

Booker was the first African American elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey. In the Senate, he has been a vocal critic of the Trump Administration and has underlined the importance of unity and fundamental American values. He has also championed policies that advance economic and equal justice — including leading efforts to reform the broken criminal justice system, increase wages, ensure hard work is fairly rewarded and protect the rights of all Americans to breathe clean air and drink clean water.

Booker held form at SC State last October on the importance of voting in the primary election of November 2018. During the forum, he emphasized the powerful and vital impact today’s youth can have on society when they use their voices for change.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to address the graduating class at South Carolina State University’s Commencement Ceremony. With so many challenges to take on, I believe that this generation will help to chart this nation’s course for decades to come. By coming together in this moment, we can ignite a sense of common purpose that I believe is vital in moving our country forward,” said Booker.

About South Carolina State University

South Carolina State University (SC State) is a historically Black public 1890 land-grant senior comprehensive institution. Located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, SC State University is committed to providing affordable and accessible quality baccalaureate programs in the areas of business, applied professional sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, engineering, engineering technology, education, arts, and humanities. A number of programs are offered at the master’s level in teaching, human services and agribusiness, and the educational specialist and doctorate programs are offered in educational administration. For more information, visit www.scsu.edu

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Noted educator and author Dr. Steve Perry will deliver the commencement address to fall 2018 graduates of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) on Friday, December 14 at 10:00 a.m. The free, public event will be held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center arena with procession beginning at 9:45 a.m.

Dr. Perry is one of the most sought-after education in America. His is the educator Oprah Oprah, Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Bishop TD Jakes and Steve Harvey call on to offer insight to parents and children. A diverse array of politicians and groups from the Urban League to ALEC, have reached out to Dr. Perry to better understand what matters to parents.

Dr. Perry opened his third school, helped Steve Harvey write his new book “Jump,” has spoken in over 79 communities and completed his sixth book “Transparanting” within the past 12 months. The word most often used to describe Dr. Perry is passionate. His authenticity is welcomed addition to any discussion rooted in improving children’s lives and the community. His skills are hard-fought and have been bestowed from his rough childhood all the way up through his graduation from an Ivy League school. There’s a richness in his concepts that foster an intriguing point of view on the modern American family.

Dr. Perry’s unique and powerful voice is respected and has been featured on MSNBC, Fox, CNN, Al Jazeera, TV One, BET and NBC as well as the Oprah Winfrey network in multiple shows. His courage and piercing insights provides a fascinating perspective that is not often found in public disclosure.

Considered the voice of a generation, Dr. Perry is a people’s champion who has been fighting for disadvantaged children and families for 30 years. Passionate and surprisingly funny, he is a man worth listening to.

For more information about fall 2018 commencement, please call (870) 575-8487.

PRAIRIE VIEW, TX – Debra L. Lee, Trailblazing Entertainment Executive, to deliver the address to Prairie View A&M University graduates and their families at the fall commencement on Sunday, December 16, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. The ceremony will take place at the Berry Center of Northwest Houston in Cypress, Texas.

According to a press release from the university, Up until May 2018, Lee served as the Chairman & CEO of BET Networks, the leading provider of entertainment for the African-American audience and consumers of Black culture globally.

During her tenure, Lee helmed BET’s reinvigorated approach to corporate philanthropy & authentic programming that lead to hits such as The New Edition Story, Being Mary Jane, The BET Awards, Black Girls Rock!, BET Honors and many more.

In September 2009, Lee managed the launch of Centric, a 24-hour music and entertainment network. Under her guidance, Centric was rebranded in 2014 as the first network designed for Black women. She also oversees the company’s current growth initiatives, including international distribution of the brand in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, France, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to her being named Chairman and CEO, Lee was President and COO of BET Networks for almost 10 years, during which she guided the company to consistent increases in viewership, revenue, and earnings. She first joined BET as Vice President and General Counsel in 1986 after serving more than five years as an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson, a Washington D.C. based corporate law firm. Prior to that, she served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Barrington Parker of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment and Billboard’s Power 100, Lee’s achievements in her 30+ year career in the industry, as well as recognition as one of this country’s most respected business executives. Lee was honored with the Destinguished Leadership Vanguard Award by the National Cable & Telecommmunications Association and was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

In February 2017, the GRAMMY Organization recognized Lee with the Salute To Industry Icons Award, on behalf of her major contributions to American music and culture. Lee is currently the first and only woman to receive the distinguished honor.

Lee is a committed philanthropist, holding a position on The Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, serving as President; is a member emeritus of the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age; and sits on the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute, Brown Universirty’s Center for Slavery & Justive, The Paley Center for Media, and The USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors for former President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and in 2011 was appointed by President Obama to the White House Management Advisory Board during his tenure. Lee also currently sits on the Board of Directors for corporations like Twitter, Marriot and Washington Gas Light.

Lee earned her Juris doctorate at Harvard Law School, while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis in Asian politics. In 2014 she was awarded with a Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) from Brown University.

ROCK HILL, SC  The Rev. Dr. Bernice King, daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will deliver the commencement address to the spring 2018 graduates at Clinton College. The commencement exercises will be held at the Kenneth Monroe Transformation Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Saturday, May 5 at 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Bernice King is the youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr., and Coretta Scott King. After her father was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968, King was one of the only one of the family’s four children to follow her father into the ministry; her preaching style is seen as similar to his. She is Chief Executive Officer of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia.

Clinton College has announce the awarding of two honorary doctorate degrees at this year’s Commencement Ceremonies. The Reverend Dr. Bernice King will receive the Doctor of Divinity and State Senator John L. Scott will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters. 

For more information about Clinton College Commencement Ceremonies, visit www.clintoncollege.edu.

PINE BLUFF, AR – Johnny C. Taylor, current President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and immediate past President and Chief Executive Office of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund will address the graduates at the spring commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. at Pine Bluff Convention Center.

According to a press release from the university, Taylor is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest professional society. He previously served a two-year term as Chair of the SHRM Board of Directors in 2005 and 2006. Taylor is the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents nearly 300,000 students attending public Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In this role, he became a prolific fundraiser, amassing over $100 million in grants and gifts.

As an influencer in his field and community, he was named one of the Ebony Magazine “Power 100” in 2011. Previously, he held positions at IAC/Interactive Corp, first as its Senior Vice President of HR and then as President and Chief Executive Officer of one of IACs operating subsidiaries. Mr. Taylor’s career also spans nearly 15 years in the practice of law and HR,including as Litigation Partner and President of the HR consulting business of the law firm McGuireWoods LLC; Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Compass Group USA; General Counsel and Senior Vice President of HR for Viacom’s Paramount Pictures Live Entertainment Group; and Associate General Counsel and Vice President of HR for Blockbuster Entertainment Group.

In a 2018 White House ceremony, President Trump appointed Mr. Taylor Chairman of the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Additionally, he is currently serving on the corporate board of Gallup, the leader in organizational consulting and public opinion research, a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami and an Adviser to Safe Streets & Second Chances, an initiative to reduce the high rate of recidivism in America.

Taylor holds both a Doctor of Jurisprudence and a Master of Arts with honors from Drake University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science with honors from the University of Miami. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois and Washington, DC.

BOWIE, MD – Eunique Jones Gibson, an award-winning content director and speaker who founded the iconic Because of Them We Can photo campaign, will return to her alma mater to address about 600 Bowie State University graduates and their families at the spring commencement on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 10 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland.

According to a press release from the university, a 2007 Bowie State University graduate, and Maryland native, Gibson develops campaigns that ignite conversation and introspection. Her talent is to get people talking: either through her campaigns and the awareness generated by their message or through her role as a speaker, host or moderator at events and panels that address timely and relevant issues impacting a variety of communities.

Gibson recently directed commercial spots featuring NBA star Kevin Durant and R&B artist Jennifer Hudson. She began her career in online advising with Microsoft, and over the past decade she has worked with a variety of companies such as American Family Insurance, Nickelodeon, 1-800-Flowers, Green Bay Packers, Kathy Ireland Worldwide and Custom Ink to name a few.

In February 2012, following the death of Trayvon Martin, Gibson created her first photo awareness campaign I Am Trayvon Martin. The campaign spread through social media and online news outlets around the world and inspired others to use their voice to highlight social injustices and the need for change.

As a result, in 2013, Gibson launched Because of Them We Can, an award-winning campaign and movement that helps people re-imagine their possibilities. Launched during Black History Month with a mission to empower the next generation to honor the legacy of their ancestors, the campaign featured photographs of adorable children channeling leaders, activists, and celebrities, past and present. It has evolved into a positive platform for Black excellence that reaches millions of people each month.

Throughout her travels promoting Because of Them We Can, Gibson met follow dreamers and started thinking, “What if we had a space where we could build our dreams and at the same time, build our village?” So, she created it. In 2018, Gibson launched Dream Village, a co-working space for dreamers that will allow them to build a supportive community in both physical and virtual spaces. The space hopes to bring back the village values that every community needs. The very first Dream Village right outside of Washington, DC, in Hyattsville, Maryland, in February 2018.

 

About Bowie State University

Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit www.bowiestate.edu.

 

BALTIMORE, MD – Morgan State University President David Wilson announced on Monday that philanthropist, community activist and renowned national radio host Tom Joyner will deliver the keynote address during the University’s 142nd Commencement. The exercises will take place on Saturday, May 19, 2018, beginning at 9:30 a.m., at Hughes Stadium on campus. In addition to addressing nearly 1,000 degree candidates, Joyner will join two other distinguished citizens in receiving an honorary degree: veteran filmmaker and former Morgan professor Stanley Nelson, and Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., a university professor emerita, and president of the National Academy of Education.

According to a press release by the university, Known to millions nationwide as “The Fly Jock,” Tom Joyner began his broadcast career in 1970 immediately after his graduation from Tuskegee Institute, an HBCU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Joyner, a native of Tuskegee, Ala., worked his way up through radio in Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas before eventually parlaying his distinct humor and energy in urban radio to land a high-profile radio position in Chicago.

“We are very excited to have Tom Joyner, one of the biggest supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their mission, join us on such an auspicious and joyful occasion,” said Dr. Wilson. “Morgan has enjoyed a longtime relationship with Mr. Joyner by way of our involvement with the Tom Joyner Foundation. Having him come to our campus as the Spring Commencement speaker adds yet another layer to that ongoing relationship.”

In 1994, entertainment powerhouse ABC Radio Networks convinced Joyner to take his captivating style of radio nationwide, thus successfully launching “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” into national syndication. Over the years, Joyner has taken his radio program to unexpected heights, using his influence to inspire and activate listeners daily while catering specifically to African-American audiences. Well-known for his dedicated philanthropy and community activism, Joyner has led successful national awareness campaign on voter registration law, family/health initiatives and equitable treatment of minorities. Never one to forget his roots, he created The Tom Joyner Foundation to help retain students in HBCUs. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than $60 million.

Joyner has received numerous accolades and awards during his distinguished career, among them a Radio Hall of Fame award, an NAACP Image Award, Impact Magazine’s “Joe Loris Award” for Excellence in Broadcasting and Billboard’s Best Urban Contemporary Air Personality award. Other honors include the BET Humanitarian Award, the Denny’s Community Impact Award, the Septima P. Clark Excellence in Black Education Award and Impact Magazine’s “Best DJ of the Year Award,” which was renamed “The Tom Joyner Award” because he had received it so many times.

Stanley Nelson has been acknowledged as one of the preeminent documentary filmmakers of our time. He has directed and produced more than 12 documentary features, including: “Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”; Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders”; “Joestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple”; and “The Murder of Emmett Till.” Nelson’s latest film, “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” which features Morgan and an interview with President Wilson, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. Nelson has won many major awards in broadcasting, including a Lifetime Peabody Award, a Lifetime Emmy Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association. He is a 2014 National Humanities Medalist, multiple Emmy Award winner, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nelson, a former professor of film in Morgan’s College of Liberal Art, is also co-founder of Firelight Media, a nonprofit production company dedicated to using historical film to advance contemporary social justice causes and to mentoring, inspiring and training a new generation of diverse young filmmakers committed to advancing stories of underrepresented people.

Nearly 1,000 candidates are expected to receive bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees during the commencement ceremony. Morgan has awarded more than 50,000 academic degrees during its storied, 151-year history, propelling it to become the top-ranking university in Maryland in awarding degrees to African Americans.

HOLY SPRINGS, MS – Rust College’s 152nd Commencement will take place on Sunday, April 29, 2018. Prairie View A&M University’s President Dr. Ruth Simmons will deliver the keynote address.

According to a press release from the university, Dr. Ruth Simmons, an accomplished university president with administrative experience in Ivy schools, a women’s university and a historically black college, serves as President of Prairie View A&M University. Simmons was President of Brown University from 2001-2012. Under her leadership, Brown made significant strides in improving its standing as one of the world’s finest research universities.

A French professor before entering university administration, President Simmons held an appointment as a Professor of Africana Studies at Brown. After completing her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and literatures at Harvard, she served in various faculty and administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College before she became president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States. At Smith, she launched a number of important academic initiatives, including an engineering program, the first at an American women’s college. Simmons is the recipient of many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship to France, the 2001 President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the 2002 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the 2004 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the Foreign Policy Association Medal, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Centennial Medal from Harvard University.

Simmons is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the boards of Texas Instruments, Chrysler, Mondelez and Square, as well as a number of non-profit boards. Awarded numerous honorary degrees, she received the Brown Faculty’s highest honor: the Susan Colver Rosenberger Medal in 2011. In 2012, she was named a ‘chevalier’ of the French Legion of Honor.

HOUSTON, TX – GRAMMY Award-winning Gospel singer, Yolanda Adams, will address graduates at Texas Southern University’s Winter Commencement on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 9:30 p.m. in the Health and Physical Education Arena on campus.

According to a press release by the university, Adams has claimed five GRAMMY Awards and a host of Stellar, Dove and NAACP Image Awards during her 29-year career. She has earned other accolades from Billboard, BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), BET (Black Entertainment Television), as well as American Music and Soul Train Music Awards. Adams has recorded numerous Gospel Hits, including Be Blessed, Open My Heart, The Battle is the Lord’s, Hold On, Be Still, Continuous Praise, and many others.

“It is an honor and privilege to encourage our fall graduates on their special day. To graduate from a university is an undertaking that requires skill, discipline and perseverance until the desired outcome is met. I am proud to officially speak hope and positivity into their dreams,” Ms. Adams said.

Adams graduated from Texas Southern in 1984 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She went on to serve as an elementary school teacher in her native Houston before starting an illustrious music career in 1988.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Elizabeth City State University’s 165th Fall Commencement will take place on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 10 a.m. in the R.L. Vaughan Center. Dillard University’s president Dr. Water M. Kimbrough will deliver the keynote address.

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough

According to a press release by the university, Dr. Kimbrough is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and Miami University in Miami, Ohio, Dr. Kimbrough earned a doctorate in higher education from Georgia State University. He has made his career in student affairs, serving at Emory University, Georgia State University, Old Dominion University, and Albany State University in 2000, where he became the Vice President for Student Affairs at the age of 32.

In October of 2004, at the age 37, he was named the 12th president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2012 he became the 7th president of Dillard University in New Orleans.

Kimbrough has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college. He has also has been noted for his active use of social media in articles by The Chronicle of Higher Education, and in the book “Follow The Leader: Lessons in Social Media Success from Higher Ed CEOs.”

He was cited in 2010 by Bachelors Degree.org as one of 25 college presidents you should follow on Twitter, by Education Dive as one of 10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right (@HipHopPrez), and in 2015 he was named by The Best Schools.org as one of the 20 most interesting college presidents.

A 1986 initiate of the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., at the University of Georgia, Dr. Kimbrough was the Alpha Phi Alpha College Brother of the Year for the Southern Region and served at the Southern Region Assistant Vice President. Dr. Kimbrough has forged a national reputation as an expert on fraternities and sororities, with specific expertise regarding historically Black, Latin and Asian groups. He is the author of the book, “Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities.”

Dr. Kimbrough was named the 1994 New Professional of the Year for the Association of Fraternity Advisors. In 2009, he was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 To Watch. In 2010, he made the Ebony Magazine Power 100 list of the doers and influencers in the African-American community, joining the likes of President and Mrs. Obama, Jay-Z and Tyler Perry.

In February 2013 he was named to NBC News/The Griot.com’s 100 African-Americans making history today, a group which includes Kerry Washington, Mellody Hobson, and Kendrick Lamar. Dr. Kimbrough was named male HBCU President of the Year for 2014 by HBCU Digest.