HAMPTON, Va. (Mar. 1, 2018) — Hampton University is pleased to announce that alumna Ruth Carter, one of Hollywood most sought after costume designers and the first African-American costume designer to be nominated for an Academy Award will serve as the University’s 148th Commencement speaker on May 13, 2018. Commencement will be held at Armstrong Stadium at 10 a.m.
“It brought me immense joy to hear Ruth Carter say ‘yes’ to our invitation to deliver this year’s commencement address at our Home by the Sea, ” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “Ruth Carter’s star is among the brightest in Hollywood. She will inspire and enlighten every soul within the sound of her voice. We can’t wait.”
Carter, a 1982 graduate of Hampton University’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts, majored in Theatre Arts and has worked in the entertainment industry for over three decades.
Carter’s unparalleled ability to develop an authentic story through costume and character has made her one of the most sought after and renowned costume designers today. Known for her research and diligence to the craft, specifically for her outstanding work in period ensemble films like “The Butler,” “Selma,” and “Roots.” Carter’s most recent success, Marvel’s “Black Panther,” has grossed $763.3 million globally and looks like it will inevitably break the $1 billion total.
Carter has garnered two Academy Award nominations for Best Costume Design for Spike Lee’s “Malcom X” in 1993 and Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad” in 1998. Over Carter’s three decades in entertainment she has worked with some of the top directors in Hollywood including Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Reggie Hudlin, Steven Spielberg and now Ryan Cooglar.
Together with Lee, they have worked on over a dozen film projects beginning with “School Daze” and including “Do The Right Thing,” “Malcolm X”, “Old Boy,” “Da’ Sweet Blood of Jesus,” and “Chi-Raq.” Carter is a collaborator with other filmmakers on many notable films including “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “Black Dynamite,” and “Sparkle.”
Carter anchored the look for Gabrielle Union in “Being Mary Jane,” and forged comedic style in “Keeping Up With the Joneses.” Some of Carter’s recent projects include “Kidnap,” starring Halle Berry, “Motherland,” and “Marshall,” a story about a landmark NAACP case fought by Thurgood Marshall starring Chadwick Boseman, who also plays the titular character in “Black Panther.”