Famed R&B singer Lionel Richie is scheduled to speak via satellite at the commencement services of his alma mater Tuskegee University on May 9, the school announced.
More than 500 students are set to graduate from the Alabama university. According to the school, it will confer degrees to more Black Ph.D. candidates in the materials science and engineering field than any other institution in the nation.
“I look forward to presiding over this important rite of passage for our esteemed students and to present Lionel Richie as the speaker for the Commencement audience,” Tuskegee University President Dr. Benjamin Payton said in a press release. “Lionel is one of the world’s greatest artists and philanthropists, and a renowned Tuskegee University graduate.”
It will be the final commencement exercises for Payton, who is scheduled to retire June 30 after serving Tuskegee for 28 years.
Tuskegee said Richie will announce his plans to assist the school’s development into an “interactive global university.” In addition, the musician will unveil several internship programs and scholarships for Tuskegee students looking to learn more about the entertainment industry.
Richie achieved fame as a member of the group The Commodores and as a solo artist. His hits include “Easy,” “Sail On,” “Three Times a Lady.”