FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stacie B. Royster
Media Relations Manager
Congressman Elijah Cummings to Speak at Howard University Commencement CeremonyTwo 2006-2007 Fulbright Recipients to Receive Undergraduate Degrees
Washington D.C., (May 8, 2006) – Howard University will host its 138th Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 13, at 10 a.m. on the upper quadrangle of the main campus. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), now in his sixth term, will deliver the keynote address and will receive a Special Citation of Achievement.
Among the over 2,300 graduates are two recipients of the 2006-2007 Fulbright Scholarship, Maxine Moffett and Naeesa S. Aziz; Catherine Thornton, a fourth generation Howard graduate whose great-grandfather graduated in 1881; and Army veteran Michael Simzak.
Simzak will graduate summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics. Simzak maintained a 3.95 grade point average despite the interruption of his studies from Spring 2003 to Summer 2004 to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“Howard University Commencements are always special. Each one is especially joyous, triumphant, and unique,” said Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert. “I am certainly happy to preside over yet another Commencement, particularly one with an outstanding profile and distinguished group of honorees.”
Howard University will grant four honorary degrees to a diverse group of leaders from the arts, academia, sciences and labor affairs. Among them are Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute president, Doctor of Science; Dr. Floretta Dukes McKenzie, founder and chairwoman The McKenzie Group, Inc. and chairwoman of the Howard University Board of Trustees, Doctor of Humane Letters; Mr. William “Bill” Lucy, international secretary-treasurer, American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees, Doctor of Humanities; and entertainment icon Mr. Smokey Robinson, Doctor of Music.
Graduation exercises will be broadcast live over Howard University’s WHUR 96.3 FM Radio and WHUT, Howard University’s public broadcast station. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at Burr Gymnasium, 6th and Girard Streets, N.W.
About the Honorees
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson is the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, the oldest technological research university in the United States. She is immediate past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and is also currently chairman of the AAAS Board of Directors, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical Society. Dr. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics from M.I.T. She has been awarded 31 honorary doctoral degrees.
Dr. Floretta Dukes McKenzie, chairwoman of the Howard University Board of Trustees since 2004 and a member since 1993, is senior advisor for the American Institutes for Research (AIR), one of the nation’s leading education research organizations, which recently acquired The McKenzie Group. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from D.C. Teachers College, a Master of Arts degree in history from Howard University, and an Ed.D. degree from The George Washington University.
Mr. William Lucy is the international secretary-treasurer of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO. He was first elected AFSCME secretary-treasurer in May 1972 and was re-elected in June 2004 to another four-year term. For more than three decades, he has been involved in international affairs, and is the highest-ranking African-American in the Labor Movement. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, he is a civil engineer by trade and attended the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr. Smokey Robinson, an artist, singer, songwriter, actor, poet, and producer, was born in Detroit, Michigan. He began writing poems in elementary school, and regularly listened to soul and classic popular music. Instead of college, he chose to pursue a singing career. His achievements include 36 Top 40 hits, a Grammy Living Legend Award, induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and the National Medal of Arts Award—the highest honor an artist can receive from the President of the United States, and numerous other honors and achievements.
Howard University is one of 48 U.S. private, Doctoral/Research-Extensive universities and comprises 12 schools and colleges. Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, a Truman Scholar, 13Fulbright Scholars and nine Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University’s Web site at www.Howard.edu.
Note to the Media:
Please contact Stacie Royster, media relations manager, by noon on Friday, May 12 to confirm coverage (202-238-2332). Media should report to Gate #2, located at 6th Street and Founders Walk, between 8:15-8:30 a.m. (broadcast media will need to be stationary by 8:30 a.m.). The processional starts promptly at 8:45 a.m. with the ceremony beginning at 10:00 a.m.