This month, President Obama, the First Lady, and officials from throughout the Administration will deliver commencement addresses to Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation. This weekend Mrs. Obama will send off the graduates of University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff Saturday, May 8th and President Obama will greet the graduates of Hampton University Sunday, May 9th. In total, eleven HBCUs will receive commencement addresses from Obama Administration officials this year.
Other officials participating in graduation ceremonies include Secretary Robert Gates, Department of Defense (Morehouse College), Secretary Arne Duncan, Department of Education (Xavier University), Administrator Charles Bolden, NASA (Huston-Tillotson University), Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President (Morgan State University), Melody Barnes, Director, White House Domestic Policy Council (Virginia Union University), and Ambassador Susan Rice, United Nations (Spelman College). In addition, John Wilson, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, is scheduled to speak to Wilberforce University, Wiley College, and Harris-Stowe State University.
During a recent White House ceremony honoring HBCUs, President Obama spoke of the importance of these institutions to the well-being of not just the African American community, but to the entire nation.
President Obama said, “[W]e’re not only doing this because these schools are a gateway to a better future for African Americans; we’re doing it because their success is vital to a better future for all Americans.”
Below is the complete schedule of administration appearances
Obama Administration HBCU Commencement Schedule*
Saturday, May 1st
· John Wilson, Executive Director, White House Initiative on HBCUs – Wilberforce University
Saturday, May 8th
· First Lady Michelle Obama – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
· Secretary Arne Duncan, Department of Education – Xavier University
· NASA Administrator Charles Bolden – Huston-Tillotson University
· White House Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes – Virginia Union University
· John Wilson, Executive Director, White House Initiative on HBCUs – Wiley College
· President Barack Obama – Hampton University
· John Wilson, Executive Director, White House Initiative on HBCUs – Harris-Stowe State University
· Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President – Morgan State University
· Secretary Robert Gates, Department of Defense – Morehouse College
· Ambassador Susan Rice, United Nations – Spelman College
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