Commencement season for colleges and universities in the Baltimore-Washington corridor will feature controversial figures as major entertainers and personalities address the graduates of the class of 2014 and receive honorary degrees.
Baltimore native Wes Moore, best- selling author, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur and broadcast executive, will deliver the keynote address at the University of Maryland, College Park, May 16. Moore, a Rhodes Scholar and Johns Hopkins graduate, will receive an honorary doctorate at the commencement exercises.
At the UMD graduation, the list of honorary degrees includes an honorary doctor of public service to be issued to Michael Cryor, chairman of the Board of Visitors
of the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine. Cryor, president of The Cryor Group, is a past chairman of the Maryland State Democratic Party and a member of the board of directors of Baltimore Gas & Electric.
Patricia L. Schmoke, wife of former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke and a
practicing ophthalmologist in Baltimore, will be the commencement speaker at Coppin State University’s graduation ceremony May 17. She earned her undergraduate degree at Coppin State.
Dr. Schmoke, a Baltimore native, is a member of Links Incorporated Harbor City Chapter; The Monumental Medical Society; University of Maryland Cancer Center, and a diplomat of the Maryland Board of Ophthalmology.
Calvin Butler, chief executive officer of Baltimore Gas and Electric, will be the commencement speaker at Morgan State University’s ceremony on May 17. Butler, who received the YMCA’s African American and Hispanic Leadership Award, received his bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. and a law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
Shirley Sherrod, a civil rights activist who was forced to resign as Georgia State
Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture after a maliciously edited video suggested she was a racist, will be the commencement speaker at Sojourner Douglass College graduation exercises June 29 in Baltimore.
In D.C., Mother’s Day weekend will mark graduation ceremonies for Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC).
Entertainment mogul and Howard dropout Sean Combs is to deliver the main
address at Howard’s graduation exercises when honorary degrees are to be awarded to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer; Clive Callender, a surgery professor at Howard’s medical school (and the first doctor to perform a transplant
at Howard University Hospital); jazz artist Benny Golson, and PepsiCo chairman and chief executive Indra Nooyi.
Also on May 11, Mary Frances Berry, former chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will deliver the commencement address at UDC. She also was the Assistant Secretary for Education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) and has held the posts of provost of the University of Maryland and chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
She will join Marie Johns, former Deputy Administrator for the Small Business Administration, and William R. Spaulding, who served on the first elected D.C. City Council, as UDC honorary degree recipients.
On May 19, Norman R. Augustine, regent of the University System of Maryland, will be Bowie State University’s commencement speaker. The event will be held at the Comcast Center in College Park.