If you follow any historically black colleges or universities (HBCUs) on social media, chances are your feeds are full of caps and gowns. Graduation season is upon us and will last through the end of May.

One of the highlights of graduation season is the list of commencement speeches. Students want star power, authenticity and inspiration. Several celebrities are making the rounds this year, including Girls Trip star Regina Hall, who will speak at Dillard University on May 11. Dillard president Walter Kimbrough said the school worked with students to find a speaker. When the decision to go with Hall was announced, the student reaction was positive.

“People are really excited when we announced Regina Hall, particularly because she just had Little that came out last month, and then she’ll be in Shaft later this month,” said Kimbrough. “So we have her in between two big movies. And she’s doing the Showtime series, Black Monday. … We look for someone with new insight and a new perspective to share with our graduates.”

Florida A&M University (FAMU) featured three speakers, including rapper and actor Common. He received an honorary doctorate and gave a commencement address to students on May 3.

Lamman Rucker — an actor best known for his work in the TV series Greenleaf, House of Payne and the film Why Did I Get Married? — spoke at Lane College on April 25. He’ll be at LeMoyne-Owen College on May 11.

Several schools decided to go with politicians. Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was the keynote speaker for graduation at Paul Quinn College.

Sen. Cory Booker will speak to students at South Carolina State University on May 10. Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum also spoke at FAMU on May 3. He will be at Clark Atlanta University on May 20.

Some speakers will keynote more than one graduation. Political commentator Bakari Sellers, tapped to speak at three different schools, has made the commencement speaker list every year since 2017. He spoke at Paine College on May 5. He’s scheduled to speak at Lincoln University in Missouri on May 11 and again at the University of the Virgin Islands on May 16 and 17.

Television journalist Roland Martin and political commentator Angela Rye are also HBCU commencement veterans. Martin was at Virginia University of Lynchburg on May 4 and will speak at Bowie State on May 17. Rye spoke at Wiley College on May 5. She’ll be at Texas Southern University on May 18. Author Michael Eric Dyson spoke at Tennessee State on May 4 and will be at Prairie View A&M on May 11.

However, the Rev. Al Sharpton gets the speaker MVP award. He also spoke at Tennessee State on May 4, and then again at Voorhees College that same day. The following day, he spoke at Fisk University.

Below is the list of commencement speakers.

SchoolDateSpeaker
Alabama A & MMay 3John O. Hudson III
Alabama StateMay 3State Rep. Lataisha Jackson and Brandon Hurst
Albany StateMay 11Valerie Montgomery Rice
Alcorn StateMay 4Leo Denault
AllenMay 11Joey Jackson
American BaptistMay 16Harold M. Love Jr.
Arkansas BaptistMay 4Major J. Baisden
BenedictMay 11Bobby J. Donaldson
BennettMay 4Kwanza Jones
Bethune-CookmanMay 11Benjamin Crump and Johanna LeBlanc
Bishop State CommunityMay 21Josh Duplintis
Bluefield StateMay 11Dr. William Robertson
Bowie StateMay 17Roland Martin
Central StateMay 4Rev. William J. Barber II
Cheyney of PennsylvaniaMay 11Susan L. Taylor
ClaflinMay 11University president Henry N. Tisdale
Clark AtlantaMay 20Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum
ClintonMay 4Nina Turner
Coahoma CommunityMay 11Tenn. State and Alpha Kappa Alpha president Glenda Baskin Glover
Coppin StateMay 22Robert L. Wallace
Delaware StateMay 11U.S. Rep. Alma Adams
Denmark TechnicalMay 3Barnwell (S.C.) Mayor Marcus Rivera
DillardMay 11Regina Hall
Edward WatersMay 11Ibram X. Kendi
Elizabeth City StateMay 11Tyrone Poole
Fayetteville StateMay 11N.C. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and Mayor Mitch Colvin
FiskMay 5Al Sharpton
Florida A&MMay 3Norma Ely-Jones
Florida MemorialMay 11Col. (Retired) Norma Ely-Jones
Fort Valley StateMay 11Rodney D. Bullard
Gadsden State CommunityMay 9Dakota Heathcock, Eden Snyder and Ivy McCurley
Grambling StateMay 10Marc Morial
H Councill Trenholm State TechnicalMay 10Porcia Bradford Love
HamptonMay 12Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams
Harris-Stowe StateMay 11TBA
HowardMay 11Kasim Reed
Huston-TillotsonMay 11Michele Thornton Ghee
Interdenominational Theological CenterMay 11Rev. Judge Penny Brown Reynolds
J.F. Drake State Community and TechnicalMay 9Markeeva Morgan
Jackson StateMay 4Brig. Gen. Robert Crear
Jarvis ChristianMay 4Donna Brazile
Johnson C. SmiMay 19Ralph H. Groce III
Kentucky StateMay 9Rev. Gwendolyn Boyd
LaneApril 25Lamman Rucker
LangstonMay 18Dave Hollister
Lawson State Community – Birmingham CampusMay 10Quinton T. Ross Jr.
Le Moyne-OwenMay 11Lamman Rucker
Lincoln – MissouriMay 11Bakari Sellers
Lincoln of PennsylvaniaMay 5U.S. Rep. John Lewis
LivingstoneMay 4Roslyn M. Brock
Meharry MedicalMay 18Stanley M. Bergman
MilesMay 4Richard Arrington
Mississippi Valley StateMay 4Victor McTeer
MorehouseMay 19Robert F. Smith
Morehouse school of MedicineMay 18Patrice Harris
Morgan StateMay 18U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings
MorrisMay 4Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford
Morris BrownMay 18Dominique Wilkins
Norfolk StateMay 4Yamiche Alcindor
North Carolina A & T StateMay 11Willie A. Deese and Marshall M. Williams
North Carolina CentralMay 11N.C. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and Rev. William J. Barber II
OakwoodMay 11Darryl M. Bell
PaineMay 5Bakari Sellers
Paul QuinnMay 4Beto O’Rourke
Philander SmiMay 5Sophia A. Nelson
Prairie View A & MMay 11Michael Eric Dyson
RustApril 28Rep. Bennie G. Thompson
Saint Augustine’sMay 11G.K. Butterfield
Savannah StateMay 11University president Cheryl Davenport Dozier
SelmaJune 28Jimmy Nunn
ShawMay 11Everette Taylor
Shelton State CommunityMay 10Kelvin Redd
ShorterMay 11Bobby Acklin
Simmons – KentuckyMay 19James Railey
South Carolina StateMay 10Sen. Cory Booker
Southern and A & MMay 10Omar J. Dorsey
Southern at New OrleansMay 11Carmen J. Walters
Southern at ShreveportMay 20Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins
Southwestern ChristianMay 11Jeremy Flowers
SpelmanMay 19Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms
St. Philip’sMay 10Marc Cross
StillmanMay 4Lyn Stanfield
TalladegaMay 5Essye B. Miller
Tennessee StateMay 4Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson
TexasMay 4Cynthia Marshall
Texas SouthernMay 18Angela Rye
TougalooMay 5Stacey Abrams
TuskegeeMay 11Harold Davis
University of Arkansas at Pine BluffMay 11Gwendolyn Boyd
University of Maryland Eastern ShoreMay 24John B. King Jr
University of the District of ColumbiaMay 11Maxine Waters
University of the Virgin IslandsMay 16–17Bakari Sellers
Virginia StateMay 19Jennifer McLean and Lucy McBath
Virginia UnionMay 11Danny Glover
Virginia of LynchburgMay 4Roland Martin
VoorheesMay 4Al Sharpton
West Virginia StateMay 11Rev. Ronald English
WilberforceMay 4Michael Lomax
WileyMay 5Angela Rye
Winston-Salem StateMay 10Kwanza Jones
Xavier of LouisianaMay 11Pierre Johnson, Maxime Madhere and Joseph Semien

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