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Spelman College Commencement 2017


We Salute the Class of 2020


Class of 2020 Top Ten Graduates

Top Ten Graduate: Ashley Jackson, C'2020

May 2020

Spelman Class of 2020 Ashley JacksonSumma Cum Laude
Major: Independent

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

What’s Next?
Jackson plans to return to Los Angeles where she will continue her journey as an actress and screenwriter while applying to graduate schools. Her mission is to curate a career and body of creative material that will inspire the next generation of “thinkers” to create narratives that are authentic to their truths.

A Message for the Class of 2020
"When I reflect on the 'Class of 2020,' I think about our persistence, resilience, beauty and purpose. More than 400 different minds, styles, paths and yet  the universe aligned our destinies to tread through these uncharted territories, together. Our class is not legendary for simply experiencing immense hardship, we are legendary because of how we have committed to overcoming and excelling in spite of such trials. I am so proud to be your Sister. 'We are [truly] our ancestor’s wildest dreams'."

Jackson is a multi-talented artist. The independent major developed a curriculum that provided a foundation for her desire to become a major voice in the film industry. During her tenure at Spelman, she focused on African American narratives in cinema and television with an emphasis in screenwriting, under the advisement of Julie Dash and Elyce Strong-Mann.

Despite the pressures of being a working actress, Jackson managed to maintain a spot on the Dean’s list each year. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has presented papers at academic conferences, and published her research in the second volume of the Black Power Encyclopedia: From "Black is Beautiful" to Urban Uprisings.

Recently, Jackson starred in Netflix’s “Beats,” a coming-of-age drama set in the South Side Chicago. Her second feature film, “Blast Beat,” debuted at Sundance Film Festival in 2020. After graduation the budding screenwriter will work toward creating a production company that develops genuine, relevant, and honest narratives.

Remembering the Class of 2020 New Student Orientation | August 2016

NSO 2016: Induction Ceremony View Spelman Class of 2020 Induction Ceremony Photo Album in Flickr.
NSO 2016: Olive Branch View Spelman Class of 2020 Olive Branch Celebration Photo Album in Flickr.


Commencement Information

Spelman College graduates
Graduation Checklist

Items that must be completed in order to receive your diploma.

Spelman College Commencement Speakers
Commencement Speakers

Our speakers, honorary degree recipients and awardees.

Graduates at Baccalaureate
Commencement Recaps

Celebrating the spirit of Commencement at Spelman.

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Commencement 2020 Update

CommencementHoldingHands-FeatureEvery spring, we all look forward to the suite of end-of-year events, the high point of the Spelman academic year. The events we celebrate at the end of the year mark major milestones in the lives of our students, faculty, staff and alumnae. They are moments for us to pause and consider the hard work, sacrifice, accomplishments and promise of you, our graduating seniors. Commencement is a momentous rite of passage that heralds your transition from Spelman student into a permanent member of the Spelman alumnae sisterhood. Whenever I see a graduating senior walk under the Alumnae Arch, I know that she is entering a lifetime of lasting relationships, connections and community.

We cherish all of the ceremonies and activities that accompany Commencement - Baccalaureate, Class Day, Senior Soiree - and cannot imagine a year without them. For that reason, Spelman is giving careful consideration as to how we might honor this milestone and marker in your lives and still stay within the boundaries of prudent and responsible public health behaviors.  

View Commencement Update