Fisk University has announced the speakers for Baccalaureate and Commencement 2016. The Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts will speak at 10 am on Sunday, May 1 for Baccalaureate, and the Honorable Helen Shores Lee will deliver the Commencement address on Monday at 10 am. As Fisk celebrates their 150th Anniversary, all classes will come together for an All Class Reunion. Anniversary classes for Reunion 2016 are those ending in 1 and 6. They will highlight the Class of 1941 (Platinum), the Class of 1966 (Golden) and the Class of 1991 (Silver), and welcome the Class of 2016. The General Alumni Association of Fisk University, Inc. is the organizer of the 2016 Fisk Alumni Reunion.
The Honorable Helen Shores Lee was appointed Circuit Judge of the Tenth Judicial Court of Alabama and assumed the bench in January 2003. Judge Lee became the first African-American woman to serve in the Civil Division of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County. Judge Lee practiced law in the Birmingham community for more than sixteen years with the firm of Shores and Lee until her judicial appointment in January 2003.
Lee, a 1962 graduate of Fisk University (B.A.), received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, California and the Juris Doctorate from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama in 1987. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Alabama State Bar, Birmingham Bar, Magic City Bar and National Bar Association. Judge Lee dedicates her life to community service. Judge Lee has been happily married to Bob Lee for over 50 years. This union has been blessed with two sons, one daughter and five grandchildren.
Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, is Pastor of the nationally renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York, and President of the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Old Westbury. Rev. Butts was one of the founders and is the current Chairman of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a comprehensive, community-based, not-for-profit organization responsible for over $600 million in housing and commercial development in Harlem. He was also instrumental in establishing the Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change—a public, state-of-the-art, intermediate and high school in Harlem—and he is the visionary behind the Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School, which opened in September 2005.
Butts earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, a Master of Divinity in Church History from Union Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry in Church and Public Policy from Drew University in Madison, NJ. Previously, Rev. Butts served as President of Africare, as well as President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York. Rev. Butts is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and also Prince Hall Masons (having received the 33rd final degree in Masonry. Rev. Butts is married, has three children and six grandchildren.