Spelman College announced that it will include activist Angela Davis and award-winning playwright Danai Gurira at its commencement celebrations for the classes of 2020 and 2021.
The ceremonies will take place separately, in-person on Sunday, May 16.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 with a set of obstacles unlike any other, and they have proven that they were up to the task,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman.
“Although their lives were essentially put on pause, these two classes displayed resilience and courage, and thrived despite the tremendous challenges presented by the pandemic. We are excited to celebrate this milestone with our stellar graduates and their families.”
Gurira, a tony-nominated playwright, best known for her roles as General Okoye in Marvel’s 2018 Academy Award-winning blockbuster film “Black Panther” and Michonne in the AMC series “The Walking Dead” will deliver a keynote address to the class of 2020 during Spelman’s 133rd Commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m., Sunday, May 16, at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Davis, a scholar, writer, philosopher, and equal rights activist, will deliver the address for Spelman College’s 134th Commencement ceremony honoring the graduating class of 2021 during an outdoor ceremony at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 16, at the Georgia Institute of Technology Bobby Dodd Stadium.
During the ceremonies, both Davis and Gurira will receive honorary degrees.
Due to closures related to the coronavirus pandemic, graduation celebrations for the class of 2020 were postponed until this year. Both ceremonies will take place rain or shine, and follow masking and physical distance guidelines in accordance with current COVID-19 restrictions to ensure the health and safety of graduates and guests.
Additionally, Pearl Cleage, C’71, known as the first poet laureate of the City of Atlanta, will receive Spelman’s 2021 national community service award, and HBCU champion U.S. Rep. Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., (D-NC) will be honored with the 2020 national community service award.