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Kerry-Ann Hamilton
Media Relations Manager

Tiffany Brown
Communications Associate

Commencement 2010 Speaker, Honorees Named

WASHINGTON (April 14, 2010) – Harold Ford Jr, five-term congressman (D-TN), will serve as the 2010 Commencement speaker. A distinguished politician and public servant, Ford has been described by President Bill Clinton as the “walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century.” He currently serves as Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and will receive a special citation of achievement for his extraordinary contribution to the nation on
May 8, 2010 at 10 a.m. on the upper quadrangle of the main campus.

The University has traditionally honored exemplary leaders in a variety of fields during the commencement exercise. This year’s honorees are internationally known and are among the best in their fields: Dr. David C. Driskell, Distinguished University Professor of Art, Emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park, Doctor of Humanities; Mr. Hill Harper, Award-Winning Actor and Author, Doctor of Humanities; Ms. Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, Doctor of Humanities; and Ms. Robin Roberts, Anchor Good Morning America, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Graduation exercises will be broadcast live over Howard University’s WHUR 96.3 FM and WHUT-TV, 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.

WHAT: Howard University's 142nd Commencement Convocation
WHEN: Saturday, May 8, 2010, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Howard University, Upper Quadrangle of Main Campus
(6th and Howard Place, NW), Washington, D.C.

David C. Driskell is the Distinguished University Professor of Art, Emeritus, at the University of Maryland, College Park. Trained as a painter and art historian, Driskell works principally in collage and mixed media. Highly regarded as an artist, scholar and curator, he is cited as one of the world's leading authorities on the subject of African-American art. He is also the recipient of ten honorary doctoral degrees in art and he has contributed significantly to scholarships in the history of art on the role of Black artists in America. He has authored seven books on the subject of African-American art, co-authored four others, and published more than forty catalogs from exhibitions he has curated. His articles and essays on African-American art have appeared in major publications throughout the world.

Driskell received a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from The Catholic University of America. He and his wife Thelma reside in Hyattsville, Maryland; Falmouth, Maine and New York City.

Full Biography

Hill Harper is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: Letters to a Young Brother, Letters to a Young Sister, and The Conversation. Letters to a Young Brother was named “Best Book for Young Adults” by the American Library Association in 2007, and to date, his collective work has been recognized with three NAACP Image Awards: Outstanding Literary Work: Debut Author (2007) and Outstanding Literary Work: Youth/Teens (2007, 2008).

Hill currently stars on the hit television drama CSI:NY as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes; internationally, for which he has been recognized with three Image Awards for Best Actor in a Drama Series; CSI is the most successful television franchise in history. He has also appeared in numerous prime-time television shows and feature films, including The Sopranos, ER, The Game, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Lackawanna Blues, He Got Game, The Skulls, In Too Deep, The Nephew, and The Visit. He is the founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, dedicated to empowering, encouraging, and inspiring underserved youth to succeed through mentorship, scholarship and grant programs.

Hill graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Brown University (and was valedictorian of his department) and cum laude with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He also holds a master’s degree with honors from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Full Biography

Mellody Hobson is president of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that manages separate accounts for institutional clients and serves retirement plans and individual investors through its no-load mutual funds. As president, Ms. Hobson is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for the mutual funds. She joined Ariel in 1991 after graduating from Princeton University where she received her degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy.
 Ms. Hobson has become a nationally-recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. Specifically, she is a regular financial contributor on “Good Morning America” and a featured guest on other ABC News programs including “World News Tonight,” “Nightline” and the 2009 special “Unbroke: What You Need to Know about Money” for which she served as executive producer and host. She is also the featured consumer finance expert on Tom Joyner’s “Money Mondays” radio program and a regular columnist for Black Enterprise. In addition, she is a spokesperson for both the 2009 Ariel/Hewitt study, “401(k) Plans in Living Color,” and the Ariel/Schwab Black Investor Surveys.

Full Biography

Robin Roberts is anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Under her leadership, the broadcast has won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program. When not traveling around the country or the world covering breaking news events, Roberts is at “GMA’s” studio in Times Square conducting interviews with a diverse group of newsmakers. Her headline-making interviews include President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, actor Sidney Poitier, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on his battle with leukemia, and Lisa Niemi on the loss of her beloved husband, Patrick Swayze.

She has also done extensive reporting around the globe. She traveled to the Middle East with former First Lady Laura Bush, who was on a mission to raise awareness about breast cancer in the Muslim world; to Africa with former President Bill Clinton for a first-hand look at the AIDS crisis in that part of the world; and to Mexico, where she scaled the Mayan Pyramids as part of “GMA’s” “The New 7 Wonders of the World” series.

Full Biography
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