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Spelman College Commencement 2017

Commencement Recap 2017


Commencement Weekend 2017

Commencement 2017 Ceremony

Baccalaureate, Senior Class Day, and Commencement DVDs are available for purchase online using the Video Request Form.  Purchased DVDs will be mailed approximately 3-4 weeks after the order is received.


Episode l | Part l

Part ll - Jasmin Eatman

Part ll - Lizette Terry

Part ll - Angelar Muthike

Part lll

The Road to Graduation Video Series

Produced by Lizette Terry and Ashli Washington.
Read the profiles of the featured 2017 graduates:

Angelar Muthike, Chemistry Major
Jasmin Eatmon, Biology/Neuroscience Major
Lizette Terry, Comparative Women's Studies Major

Commencement Recap: Speaker Valerie Jarrett Tells Graduates to Share Their Story, Work for Greater Good

Valerie Jarret Speaks at Spelman's 2017 CommencementIn her address at Spelman’s 130th Commencement ceremony on May 21, former President Barack Obama senior adviser and civic leader Valerie Jarrett shared words of wisdom from her life journey and encouraged the Class of 2017 to tell their own stories and use their skills for the greater good.
“Throughout your life journey, there are going to be unexpected delights as well as disappointments, circumstances that may lead you to change course,” Jarrett told the 490 graduates and thousands of attendees at the Georgia International Convention Center.

“My advice is to surround yourself with people and institutions who respect your values and who are committed to supporting you. Share your stories. It’s what makes you who you are. Use your great skill and intellect to be a force for good and to challenge the status quo.” 
Also during the ceremony, Jarrett received the National Community Service Award, and the daughters of pioneering physicist and mathematician Katherine Johnson accepted an honorary degree on behalf of their mother. Co-valedictorians K’yal Bannister, a chemistry and dual-degree engineering major, and Muhire Kwizera, a mathematics major, each offered reflections. “There are three things Spelman taught me,” said Bannister. “You are beautiful. You are brilliant. You matter.” Kwizera noted that the key to success is hard work and a love for what you are doing. “I don’t think you need to be a genius to excel at something. You do have to love it and turn that love into action,” she said. 
In her charge to the Class of 2017, President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., exhorted the graduates to open doors for others as they battle challenges on the road to success, but also take time to enjoy life. “Light the way for yourself and for the woman beside you and the one whose coming behind you and the one whose name you don’t even know,” Dr. Campbell said. “Warrior women, you are truly miraculous.” 
On the previous day, Baccalaureate speaker Andrea C. White, Ph.D., associate professor of theology and culture at Union Theological Seminary in New York, told graduates that they are the “embodied hope that our ancestors prayed for.” She also reminded them that the act of truth-telling demands risk. “Thanks to Spelman College, you have been equipped to say what others are afraid to say,” Dr. White said.

For the Media

Request Media Credentials

Lydia G. Sermons

Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing
Office: 404-270-5899
Cell: 470-898-6451

Denise T. Ward
Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing Office: 404-270-5892 Cell: 770-862-4028