The spring 2013 graduation ceremonies at Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the nation will be keynoted by an impressive lineup. These speakers represent a wide range of celebrity personalities and professionals that include actors, politicians, CEOs, lawyers, religious leaders, civil rights activists, radio personalities and accomplished poets. Listed by date, here are just 10 of the notable speakers to take the podiums to inspire, encourage and motivate HBCU graduates.
Paul Quinn College
PQC students’ courage and perseverance will be rewarded as they welcome Bill Cosby as their commencement speaker. Cosby’s always-uplifting blend of comedy, caring and passion for education has shone throughout his career. Cosby will speak on May 4th, 2013.
Byron Pitts and Rev. Al Sharpton
Florida A&M University
FAMU is thrilled to announced that not one but two highly respected names will deliver commencement speeches. Journalist Byron Pitts is an Emmy-award winner and National Correspondent for the CBS Evening News. The Reverend Al Sharpton is a noted civil-rights activist with a long and storied career. Speeches will take place on May 4th.
One of the most popular Presidents in recent memory Former President Bill Clinton is an outstanding role model for any graduation class. Howard University is honored to welcome the noted leader and human rights activist during commencement ceremonies on May 11th.
Dillard is honored that Jeff Johnson, award-winning journalist, MSNBC contributor and former BET personality, will deliver a commencement speech. Johnson’s impressive body of work also includes TheGrio.com, Fox News, theRoot.com and the Huffington Post. Johnson will speak on May 11th.
Rev. Jesse Jackson
Tennessee State University
One of the most well-known names in the African American community, Reverend Jesse Jackson was just aside of the podium during the famous “I Have a Dream Speech.” Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, will deliver his speech on May 11th.
A graduate of Howard University, Anthony Anderson is noted as both an established actor and still a rising star. Currently, he is working on two television shows, Guys with Kids and Treme. Anderson will speak on May 12th.
Virginia State University
As leader of BET coverage of the 2012 Presidential race, Emmy-winner Ed Gordon is the host of WEEKend with Ed Gordon, a nationally syndicated radio show, and has contributed to The Today Show, 60 Minutes II and Dateline, among many others. Gordon will speak on May 12th.
First Lady Michelle Obama
Bowie State University
First Lady Michelle Obama will address Bowie State University graduates at the 2013 Spring Commencement ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, May 17, at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md. Mrs. Obama will address approximately 600 graduates and receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Dr. Regina Benjamin, M.D.
As the U.S. Surgeon General, Benjamin is truly a trailblazer, achieving many firsts for African American women in the world of medicine. Benjamin will receive an honorary degree and deliver her commencement speech on May 19th.
President Barack Obama
Students, faculty, alumni and all those associated with Morehouse are thrilled to receive the President Barack Obama as commencement speaker. As the first African American President in U.S. history, Obama is a living representation of the goals which Morehouse strives to instill in students. This year is a particularly fitting one for Obama to speak at Morehouse, being the 50th anniversary year of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Morehouse graduate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This also marks the 150th anniversary year of Emancipation Proclamation. Regardless of the year, however, Morehouse is deeply honored that the President has chosen to speak. Obama will give his commencement speech on May 19th.