By: Spelman College

Spelman College recently announced the selection of its 135th Commencement speaker. 

Alumna Stacey Yvonne Abrams, C ’95, politician, lawyer and author will deliver the keynote address to graduates during 2022 commencement celebrations on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at 3 p.m., in the McCamish Pavilion on the campus of GA Tech.  Abrams will also receive a 2022 National Community Service Award.

Abrams served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, serving as minority leader from 2011 to 2017. She graduated from Spelman magna cum laude with a degree in interdisciplinary studies and was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar. 

In 2010, Abrams became House Democratic Leader in the Georgia General Assembly, the first woman to lead either party in the state legislature and the first Black Georgian to lead in the House of Representatives. 

“Spelman College is fortunate to have a dynamic leader such as Stacey Abrams as an alumna. Her work has had a tremendous impact on our state and country and the African American community,” said Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. “She stands as an example for Spelman students of how to lead effectively while navigating complex issues, like voting rights, equity, and civil rights. We look forward to all that Abrams will share with the class of 2022.”

This year’s graduating class will include five valedictorians, a salutatorian and several high- achieving graduates from across the country. 

Post-graduation plans among many seniors include graduate school and starting careers in STEM, business, social sciences, medicine and the arts. 

Graduating senior Jordan Barrant, C’2022, a comparative women’s studies major with a minor in art history and curatorial studies, is headed to the Art Institute of Chicago where she will pursue a master’s degree in visual and critical studies. 

As a Quarterman & Keller Social Justice Scholar, Barrant worked on research projects focused on land ownership and racial injustice tied to America’s legacy of slavery. 

The Quarterman-Keller Scholars Program was the first educational initiative established by the Reparations Project, a nonprofit managed by the descendants of an enslaved coastal Georgia family and the descendants of their enslavers. 

“They say at Spelman, it is all about sisterhood and that’s true,” said Barrant. “My undergraduate experience was challenging and truly uplifting. Spelman provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with some of the brightest minds, and the honor of working side by side with other future leaders of the world.”