Bakari Sellers

Bakari Sellers, CNN Political Commentator, and the youngest African American elected official in the country, will deliver the Commencement Address at Paine College on May 5th, and Lincoln University on May 11th. The event will begin for Paine College at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday Morning in the HEAL Complex located at 1255 Druid Park Avenue, Augusta, Georgia. The event will begin for Lincoln University at 10 a.m. at Dwight T. Reed Stadium. Paine College and Lincoln University commencement ceremonies are both open to the public.

Elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives at the age of 22, Sellers defeated a 26-year-incumbent and was the youngest member of the state legislature. In 2014, he won the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor of South Carolina, and is considered a rising star and a voice for a generation within the party. Sellers earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina. A practicing attorney, Sellers has been a contributor to CNN, was listed in TIME magazine’s “40 under 40” in 2010, and was on “The Root 100” list of 2014 recognizing the most influential African Americans in the nation.

“We are pleased that Bakari Sellers will address the 2019 graduating class,” said Jerry L. Hardee, President of Paine College. “Bakari Sellers has emerged as the ‘voice’ for his generation. We are certain that his message will inspire our graduating seniors as they embark upon their career paths and lives.”

During Paine’s Commencement weekend of activities, Alumni will celebrate classes ending in 4s and 9s. Of special note, the Golden Class of 1969 will celebrate its 50th anniversary. This year, the College will dedicate the Commencement Convocation to the Paine high School graduates. The Class of 1944 is the last class to have graduate under the Paine High School.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to Robert and Charlene Mitchell Auditorium in Richardson Fine Arts Center at Lincoln University. Livestreaming will be available from anywhere at

Derrick Johnson, President and CEO NAACP

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Lincoln University of Missouri introduces its new discussion series entitled, “A Dream Fulfilled: The Presidential Lecture Series,” an initiative by President Jerald Jones Woolfolk in moving Lincoln as a 21st Century HBCU. This discussion series will begin with the institution’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program.

The event will premiere on Thursday, January 31 at 6 p.m. in the Robert and Charlene Mitchell Auditorium in Richardson Fine Arts Center on campus. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public. The featured speaker is Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of NAACP.

According to a press release by the University, Johnson, a graduate of Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi and the South Texas College of Law, most previously served as Vice Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors before being named to his current position in October 2017. He also served as state President for the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP. As an activist, he has devoted his time to defending the rights and improving the lives of the residents of Mississippi Access to Justice Commission and as Chair of the Mississippi Governor’s Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, which was formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Johnson is the founder of One Voice Inc., an organization that provides civic engagement training for African Americans. In academia, he has served as an guest lecturer at Harvard Law School and as an adjunct professor at Tougaloo College.

“A Dream Fulfilled: The Presidential Lecture Series” will feature nationally renowned speakers monthly from January through April. This unique college series, hosted by Lincoln University, showcases well-known scholars, entertainers, politicians, authors, motivational speakers and activists who deliver messages that resonate with the millennial generation. The series is designed to equip and empower students to overcome the economic, social, cultural, and political challenges of today, as they prepare to reshape the fabric of America as leaders of tomorrow.


About Lincoln University of Missouri

Lincoln University of Missouri is a historically black, 1890 land-grant, public, comprehensive institution that provides excellent educational opportunities including theoretical and applied learning experiences to a diverse population within a nurturing, student-centered environment. For information, visit