Hampton Alumna and Two-Time Oscar Winner Ruth E. Carter to Deliver Keynote at 153rd Commencement Ceremony

Prolific Costume Designer and History Maker Returns to Alma Mater

By: Hampton University

Hampton, Va. (April 26, 2023) — Hampton University announced today that Ruth E. Carter, a 1982 Theatre Arts graduate, will address the class of 2023 at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Armstrong Stadium.

Carter, renowned as a visual storyteller, made history as the first Black woman to achieve two Oscars for best costume design for her work in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, earning Marvel Studios their first Oscar recognition. The highly sought-after designer received the 2018 Academy Award for Achievement in Costume Design for Marvel’s Black Panther, becoming the first African American to win in this specific category. She continues to make history in the entertainment industry, as Carter recently earned the Best Costume Design Award at the 28th annual Critics’ Choice Awards for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Initially, Carter pursued acting, but her work in the college wardrobe department led her to discover the art of costumer design. Now, with over 70 film, television and theater projects to her credit, the acclaimed Oscar winner has mastered the art of incorporating the history of the Black experience into her designs, envisioning the clothing and overall appearance of a character or performer in multiple periods and genres. Carter has collaborated with prolific directors, including Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Steven Spielberg, and Ryan Coogler on projects including Do the Right ThingAmistad, and the television reboot of Roots. Carter is the first Costume Designer to cross over into fashion with a Conscious Collection collaboration with H&M featuring Carter’s ‘90s street inspired look from early films. Critics say Carter’s costumes tell stories so intriguing and memorable they influence music, fashion, culture, and film-making and help us to understand ourselves better.

In 2019, Carter was the subject of an episode of Abstract, a Netflix documentary series highlighting artists working the in the field of design, and recognized with the Costume Designers Guild’s Career Achievement Award. In 2021, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The legendary designer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampton University and holds an honorary doctorate from Suffolk University.

For more information on Commencement visit:  https://home.hamptonu.edu/graduation/

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