National HBCU Commencement Celebration to recognize 2020 graduates

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak that forced many colleges and universities across the nation to postpone or cancel their commencement celebrations, a coalition of leaders from historically Black colleges and universities, advocacy organizations, and corporate partners have come together to host the National HBCU Commencement Celebration on May 16.

Alcorn State University will also be participating in the national event. It honored its graduates in a virtual commencement ceremony on May 2.

“I am so proud of each and every one of our students,” said Dr. Felecia M. Nave, president of Alcorn State University. “We will continue to celebrate and acknowledge our graduates for their courage, resiliency, and achievements in these extraordinary times.”

The national virtual commencement ceremony “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition” will celebrate the achievements of more than 20,000 HBCU graduates from 78 colleges and universities. It will be livestreamed on May 16 at 1 p.m. on Chase’s YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn channels, as well as HBCU Connect’s Facebook page and Essence Studios.

It will feature President Barack Obama and include celebrities, motivational speakers, and musical performances, along with the profiles of HBCU schools and valedictorians.

Students will be encouraged to share their photos or videos on social media throughout the celebration using #ShowMeYourWalk.

“We are excited that graduates from our member-schools will receive the public recognition that they earned and deserved,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, president, and CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “This celebratory event is an effort to lift up all of our students and to let them know that we are proud of their hard work and perseverance, especially during these difficult times.”

During the event, a fundraiser will also be held to support HBCU students and institutions. All funds raised will be distributed by TMCF and UNCF among the participating institutions.

The two-hour virtual HBCU commencement program is presented by Chase in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the United Negro College Fund, the National Association for Equal Opportunity, National Basketball Association, Paul Quinn College, Howard University, and JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways Initiative.

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