More than 220 Kentucky State University graduates crossed the stage Friday, May 1o during the Spring 2019 Commencement Convocation in the William Exum Center.
Nurses, educators, business professionals, computer scientists, farmers and future leaders of all kinds now go forth from the University, ready for the next level of success.
The 22nd National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, who received the Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from Kentucky State, delivered the commencement address.
“Today we have come to celebrate all of your effort, enthusiasm, and all the sacrifices you have made,” Boyd said. “You did it. This is your day.”
Boyd offered advice to the class of 2019.
“Remain relevant in your field,” Boyd said. “Stay up-to-date. Stay focused. On the job, be the one that’s indispensable. Be outspoken. Don’t let anybody put you in a box and tell you what you can or cannot do, because you are a graduate of Kentucky State University.”
John M. Bradley was the class valedictorian but was unable to attend commencement. His advisor, Dr. Suzette Polson, gave remarks on his behalf.
Bradley retired from Kentucky State Police and finished his biology degree. Bradley is applying for medical school.
Bradley said he admired the courage of his classmates.
Bradley said he watched classmates persist to earn a degree despite illness, raising a family or leaving support systems behind to come to a new place to learn.
“The class of 2019 embrace the ideals of inclusiveness, academic excellence and courage,” Polson said on Bradley’s behalf.
President Brown announced other interesting facts about the class of 2019: the class is comprised of four military veterans; the youngest graduate is 20 and the oldest graduate – Lila Johnson – is 59 years old.
A posthumous degree was awarded to the family of Robert Scott Jones, a student who passed away before finishing his degree.
Musical guest and national recording artist Chrisette Michele brought the house down with musical selections “Total Praise” and “A Couple of Forevers.”
President Brown honored and acknowledged the golden graduates of the class of 1969, celebrating their 50th anniversary. President Brown also recognized the first graduating class of nursing students (1969) and Dr. Lee Charles Harris, who was instrumental in developing the nursing program.
The Kentucky State University marching band and cheerleaders made a surprise appearance, playing “Da Butt” for graduates one more time before they left the hill. President Brown gave each graduate their first $2, a challenge coin and a special graduation t-shirt for everyone in attendance.