National Urban League President Marc Morial and journalist wife Michelle Miller deliver TSU Commencement addresses

National Urban League President Marc Morial and CBS national correspondent Michelle Miller will deliver the keynote addresses on May 1.

Tennessee State University spring commencement ceremonies will return to the campus as live events with National Urban League President Marc Morial, and CBS national correspondent Michelle Miller delivering the keynote addresses.

The former New Orleans mayor is the guest speaker for the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 1, at 8 am. He follows his award-winning journalist wife Michelle Miller who will speak on Friday, April 30, at the graduate event beginning at 4 pm. Both graduations are scheduled for Hale Stadium.

Graduates are looking forward to hearing the speakers. But they are also excited that they will get to see them in-person. The 2020 spring and fall commencement ceremonies were held virtually because of the pandemic.

“I am very excited and appreciative for the in-person commencement that will take place on the first of May 2021,” said Dominique Davis, president of the Student Government Association, who will receive her B.S. degree in business administration, with a concentration in supply chain management.

“Although I, too, will be walking the stage, this isn’t just about me. This specific in-person commencement symbolizes all our graduating seniors who have worked relentlessly to stick to the course this past year in every aspect. This moment should be celebrated, and I am most grateful administrators have remained open minded in the entirety of graduation planning.”

Folusho E. Micah, who will receive his bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology, said he feels blessed to be among those participating in an in-person graduation.

“To have spent the past four years working so hard toward this moment and it be virtual would have been a huge let down,” said Micah. “Being able to walk across the stage in my cap and gown makes all those sleepless nights feel worth it.”

University officials estimate nearly 1000 graduate and undergraduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines.

Morial, president/CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization, is a leading voice on the national stage in the battle for jobs, education, housing and voting rights equity. He is expected to inspire graduates on his stance on issues surrounding the direction of the nation amid the current political and social climate.

Recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine, Morial served as a highly successful and popular mayor of New Orleans, as well as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Miller, an Emmy award-winning journalist, joined CBS This Morning: Saturday in 2018. Her work regularly appears on the CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning and CBS Sunday Morning. She has also appeared as a correspondent on 48 Hours.

At CBS News since 2004, Miller has reported on many stories of national and international importance. She provided extensive coverage of protests surrounding police misconduct and indictments including: the deaths of George Floyd (and his funeral), Travyon Martin, Michael Brown and the trial of George Zimmerman.

Miller’s many prestigious journalism awards include an Emmy for her series of reports on the National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy, an Edward R Murrow Award for her coverage of a day care center stand-off in New Orleans, and the Alfred I. DuPont – Columbia Award for her team coverage of the Newton, Connecticut, shooting.

Officials say COVID-19 safety protocols will be strictly enforced on Friday and Saturday. Each graduate will be provided a total of six tickets for guests (four to Hale Stadium, and two to the Gentry Center), which will serve as the overflow destination. Individuals entering each location must present the appropriate ticket and successfully pass a temperature check. On Saturday, each location will open at 6:30 am. Graduates and their guests are strongly encouraged to arrive early to go through the required protocols.

TSU Aristocrat of Bands seniors list

Congratulations to the 35 seniors of the TSU Aristocrat of Bands. They were recognized on the field of Hale Stadium following the final football game of the abbreviated 2020-21 season, as the band played their traditional salutation song to their future alumni seniors, ‘It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,’ from the 1975 film Cooley High. Listed here by first name, last name, instrument or position, hometown, and major, they include:

(name, instrument, city, major)

Isaac Adeyeye, saxophone, Atlanta, Ga., computer science

Evan Armstrong, percussion, Nashville, Tenn., electrical engineering

Michael Ashley, tuba, Lithonia, Ga., chemistry

Sean Beslin, baritone, Suffolk, Va., mass communication

Nia Blair, clarinet, Ann Arbor, Mich., mass communication

Angel Brown, trumpet, Atlanta, Ga., English

Cameron Brown, drum major, Birmingham, Ala., mass communication

Casey Brown, saxophone, Nashville, Tenn., computer science

Keeshaun Brown, trombone, Memphis, Tenn., music education

Milton Drain, clarinet, Jonesboro, Ga., public health

Diamond Forrest, trombone, Atlanta, Ga., music education

Richard Freeman, percussion, Birmingham, Ala., commercial music

Ethan Gammage, saxophone, Snellville, Ga., music education

Jalen Griffin-Herring, baritone, Chicago, Ill., political science

Phalon Haynes, drum major, Cleveland, Ohio, health sciences

Floyd Ivy, percussion, Memphis, Tenn., mass communication

Michael Johnson, tuba, Lithonia, Ga., music education

Kelsey Jones, clarinet, Ellenwood, Ga., accounting

Jabril Muhammad, trumpet, Memphis, Tenn., music education

Jarred Myers, clarinet, Atlanta, Ga., computer science

Tamia Peterson, clarinet, Birmingham, Ala., psychology

Jarell Purdie, baritone, Atlanta, Ga., computer science

Cameron Ratcliff, tuba, Birmingham, Ala., political science

Arianna Scott, piccolo, Lithonia, Ga., arts and sciences

Cailyn Sparks, dancer, Phenix City, Ala., elementary education

Eric Stallcup, trumpet, Atlanta, Ga., human performance sports science

Corey Strachan, saxophone, Atlanta, Ga., architectural engineering

Caitlin Thompson, flag, Stanton, Tenn., public health

Kyle Tolbert, trumpet, Atlanta, Ga., architectural engineering

Justin Watkins, saxophone, Nashville, Tenn., music

Antonio Watson, trumpet, Memphis, Tenn., music education

Sterling Williams III, percussion, Lithonia, Ga., finance

Robbie Willingham, baritone, Cleveland, Ohio, computer science

Cody Wordlaw, piccolo, West Memphis, Ark., agricultural sciences

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