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North Carolina A&T hosts Record-setting Commencement

GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T State University held their 2021 Spring Commencement Ceremony at Truist Field on May 9th at 8:30 AM followed by the commencement ceremony at 4 PM for the spring 2020 graduates that did not get an opportunity to have graduation due to the coronavirus pandemic.   

The stage was set for one of the biggest accomplishments a young black man or woman can obtain. It was around 75 degrees with a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky while people’s friends and family filled as much of the stadium as possible, within COVID restrictions. There were enough students to cover all 100 yards of the football stadium, as North Carolina A&T allowed 1,600 graduates to walk across the stage, making this graduation class the largest in the 130-year history of the school.

The commencement speech was given by award-winning actor and star of the hit NBC show This is Us, Sterling Brown. Brown’s speech was centered around the idea of basking in the moment of accomplishment and appreciating all of the moments, whether good or bad, that got you to this achievement. 

The ceremony also featured two honorary doctorate degree recipients. The first being author and activist Jacqueline L.B. Jackson, wife of renowned civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, whom she met while she was a student at A&T. The second honorary degree was awarded to entertainer and entrepreneur Clarence Avant. Avant is a Greensboro native and a legendary businessman and producer, starting in the recording industry then moving on to broadcast and film. In 1973, Avant purchased the first black-owned FM radio station in Los Angeles and renamed it KAGB-FM. He has production credits on some of the most renowned films ever, including The Color Purple, and Jason’s Lyric.  

The graduates of the 2020 and 2021 classes have accomplished a major feat that will propel them to unparalleled heights and place them in a position to achieve great things. Congratulations to all graduates.