ATLANTA (AP) — Clark Atlanta University is set to hold a unique dual commencement ceremony honoring the classes of 2020 and 2021 and they are bringing out some heavy-hitting commencement speakers.
The ceremonies each will take place May 15 at Clark Atlanta University in southwest Atlanta, WXIA-TV reported. Stacey Abrams, the f ormer gubernatorial candidate and voting rights activist, will address the Class of 2020 during the 8 a.m. ceremony while attorney and political commentator Bakari Sellers will address the Class of 2021 at the 3 p.m. ceremony.
Clark Atlanta University President Dr. George T. French, Jr. said in a news release the school decided on the two ceremonies because it wanted to give the 2020 graduates the chance to walk across the stage since the coronavirus pandemic prevented that opportunity last year.
“They have earned the right to experience that moment surrounded by their classmates, family, and friends,” French said.
Abrams said she was honored to have been chosen to “speak to the next generation of leaders.”
“I hope that my words serve as a source of encouragement for the graduates by reminding them of how they can use their education to uplift those who are often unseen and unheard and push our society forward,” she said.
Sellers became the youngest African American elected official in the nation when in 2006 he won a seat in the South Carolina State Legislature at 22 years old. Sellers, who received a Bachelors of Arts from Morehouse College, recalled the pride and excitement he felt when he graduated from a historically Black institution.
“I hope to share a sense of optimism with these remarkable students as we honor their great accomplishments and look ahead to their bright futures,” he said.
French said Clark Atlanta University's goal is to prepare its students “to be globally competitive and to be successful contributors and trailblazers in their respective fields of study.”
“Hearing from Ms. Abrams and Mr. Sellers -- two leaders who have already made a difference themselves -- is a fitting way to send our students off fully prepared to take on the world,” he said.