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Spelman College Commencement 2017

Commencement Recap 2019


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Commencement Ceremony 2019

Class Day

Through Laughter and Tears, Class of 2019 Reflect During Class Day

During their Class Day service, the top class of 2019 students reflected on the trials and triumphs of their four years at Spelman. Through laughter and a few tears, they offered thoughts and wisdom from Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni and their own hearts. “We leave behind a legacy of love, tenacity and change,” said Bria Paige, C’2019, Spelman Student Government Association president. “Our time at Spelman was the catalyst for the women we will become.” In her Ivy Oration, valedictorian Ariana Benson, C’2019, challenged her classmates to rethink their goals.  “Too often, we conceptualize changing the world as a revolutionary act, as something that requires a massive movement, or major life experience, or a title,” she said. “I challenge us instead, to think of world-changing as a product of the butterfly effect. One flap of a butterfly’s wings may start a tornado. A single stone dropped in the middle of the ocean can make ripples that launch a massive tidal wave. A fleeting moment of connection can change a person’s life.”


Spelman’s Graduating Class of 2019 Charged to ‘Be Heard, Inspire Change’

Throughout Commencement weekend, Spelman’s graduating class of 2019 was reminded of their responsibility to inspire change. “As members of the Spelman sisterhood, you have a moral responsibility to use your voice to inspire positive change in your world,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms during her Commencement address Sunday. “It is ingrained in your DNA.” Mayor Bottoms spoke about the sacrifices of civil rights activists like her great aunt Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson, C’65, a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who fought against segregation throughout the south. “You are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Sonia Sanchez, the 2019 honorary degree recipient, told the 480 graduates. “You are the ones who can change the world.” On Saturday morning Baccalaureate speaker, Alisha Lola Jones, Ph.D., encouraged the graduates to make their voices heard. “Go and shine your light,” she said. “Be attuned to your greatness. Honor your elders. Listen to others, tell your stories and make them hear you.”

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Lydia G. Sermons

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Class of 2019 Stories