Obama to Deliver One of Final Commencement Addresses as President at Howard University
President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver one of his final commencement addresses as commander in chief next month at Howard University.
Howard President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, announced in a news release that Obama will deliver the keynote address in Washington, D.C., on May 7.
“It is an extraordinary honor and privilege for the Howard University community to welcome President Barack H. Obama to our campus to deliver the 2016 commencement address,” Frederick said.
The president will address members of the Class of 2016 and their families, faculty and alumni at the historical Black college that is ranked by the National Science Foundation as the top producer of African-American undergraduates — who later earn science and engineering doctoral degrees.
Throughout his two terms, Obama has shown how he esteems education through programs such as the High School Redesign Initiative and Keeping Teachers in the Classroom.
“The President’s commitment to education, especially for those who can least afford it, dovetails with Howard’s commitment to provide these same students with a rigorous, intellectually-stimulating, and academically-challenging educational experience,” Frederick added as he expressed the university’s gratitude.
Obama will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree — the highest honor — from the university, on the same day the school will award 1,300 Bachelor’s Degrees, more than 300 Master’s, and more than 100, according to Howard.
The university will also bestow honorary degrees to Ambassador Horace Greeley Dawson Jr., actress Cicely Tyson and physician L.D. Britt.
The president’s message may not be that far removed from his 2013 speech to the men of Morehouse College, an Atlanta-based HBCU.
“So what I ask of you today is the same thing I ask of every graduating class I address: Use that power for something larger than yourself. Live up to President [Benjamin] Mays’ challenge. Be ‘sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society.’ And be ‘willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills,’ ” Obama said to the Morehouse graduates.
Obama is also scheduled to give commencement addresses at Rutgers University on May 15 and the United States Air Force Academy on June 2.