Who are the commencement speakers at NC HBCUs this month?


As graduation season returns, commencement speakers at North Carolina historically Black colleges and universities have been announced.

The list ranges from doctors, community leaders and celebrities, all sharing words of wisdom to the spring class of 2023.

Here is who will be speaking:

North Carolina Central University – Benjamin Crump

Date: Saturday, May 6

Time:8 a.m. 

Where: McDougald-McLendon Arena

Benjamin Crump is an attorney who specializes in civil rights and catastrophic personal injury cases such as wrongful death lawsuits. He has worked on a number of high-profile cases, including Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery and Shanquella Robinson.

St.Augustine UniversityDr. Jeronica Goodwin

Date: Saturday, May 6

Time: 9 a.m.

Where: Novant Health Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum.

Dr. Jeronica Goodwin is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief People Officer of WakeMed Health and Hospitals. Goodwin, a 1998 graduate of St.Augustine University, is a seasoned healthcare human resources professional with more than twenty years of experience working in both large and mid-size hospitals and healthcare organizations. 

Livingstone College – Tamika Mallory

Date: Saturday, May 6

Time: 9 a.m.

Where: Front lawn of the campus

Tamika Mallory is a social activist. She was one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women’s March, a worldwide protest against the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The march also advocated for women’s rights, immigration reform, LGBTQIA+ rights, health care reform, environmental reform, racial justice and racial equality. 

Fayetteville State University – Dr. Roxie Well

Date: Friday, May 12

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Where: Capel Arena

Roxie Well is a family medicine doctor in Raeford, N.C. and is affiliated with Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. She has worked in the medical field for nearly 20 years and is a 1992 graduate of Fayetteville State. 

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University – Robert Newman and Morris Chestnut

Date: Friday, May 12 

Time: 3 p.m.

Where: Novant Health Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum.

Robert Newman is a professor in the Department of Biology at NC A&T. Since arriving at the school in 2012, he has received $15 million in extramural research funding. He has also published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and mentored 70 undergraduate students, 25 graduate students and five postdoctoral fellows. 

Morris Chestnut is an award-winning actor known for his roles in Boyz in the Hood, Best Man Holiday series and Rosewood. 

Shaw University Natalie Madeira Cofield

Date: Saturday, May 13 

Time:10 a.m.

Where: Raleigh Convention Center

Natalie Madeira Cofield is an entrepreneur and executive with over 15 years of experience securing diverse capital, building strategic partnerships, and leading state and local economic development programs to support and scale small business development and expansion initiatives throughout the United States.

Johnson C. Smith UniversityAnthony Hamilton

Date: Sunday, May 21

Time: 11 a.m.

Where: Bojangles Coliseum

Anthony Hamilton is a Grammy award-winning artist from Charlotte. He burst onto the music scene in 2003 with his smash hit “Charlene.” Throughout his career, he has sold more than 50 million albums and has been inducted into North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

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