A Black university in North Carolina whose students played a key role in the civil rights movement is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s scheduled stops for graduation addresses, the White House announced this week.
She is to deliver the commencement address at North Carolina A & T University May 12 in Greensboro, N.C., in an appearance that recognizes the “rich legacy of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that have been instrumental in educating generations of African Americans,” a White House spokesman said.
A&T students were among the first college students to stage sit-in demonstrations in the early moments of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
The day before the first lady is to speak to the 1,000 A&T graduates, she will deliver the commencement remarks May 11 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., where 5,000 degree-earners are to be recognized.
The White House said the first lady is “inspired by the resilience of the student body and community coming together to support each other in difficult times,” referring to the way the institution has recovered from the April 2007 massacre in which 33 students were shot to death by a deranged student.
Her third stop is June 17 at Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, Ore., where the first lady’s brother, Craig Robinson, is basketball head coach. An estimated 3,000 students are to be awarded degrees.
OSU has been recognized for its efforts to address childhood obesity. University researchers have worked to identify factors that lead to childhood obesity and are developing prevention programs for school districts, parents and health care providers to help improve children’s’ health.