Spelman College Announces Angela Bassett To Serve As Commencement Speaker At 2024 Graduation

Spelman College has proudly announced that award-winning actress, director, and executive producer Angela Bassett will deliver the keynote address at the College’s 137th Commencement Ceremony. Bassett will also be presented with a Doctor of Fine Arts honorary degree during the event.

In addition to Bassett, trailblazing Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, and esteemed Atlanta journalist Rose Scott will be honored with the National Community Service Award. The renowned social justice minister, Reverend Dr. Yvette Flunder, will address the graduates during the Baccalaureate Ceremony.

Angela Bassett, celebrated for her captivating performances in a multitude of iconic films, including “Malcolm X,” “Waiting to Exhale,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “Black Panther,” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” where she earned an Academy Award nomination, is a well-deserved recipient of the honorary degree. Her recent portrayal as Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” garnered her several prestigious awards and nominations, including the Golden Globe, Critics Choice, and NAACP Image Entertainer of the Year awards.

Recognized as one of the Time 100 and Time Women of the Year in 2023, Bassett’s remarkable career has earned her multiple EMMY nominations, a SAG Award, 16 NAACP Image Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and the Black Girls Rock! Icon Award, among others. Her impact both on and off the screen serves as an inspiration for Spelman’s graduating Class of 2024.

Spelman College President Helene D. Gayle, M.D., MPH expressed her honor in welcoming Bassett and the other distinguished guests to the commencement ceremonies. 

“Spelman College is honored to have acclaimed actress and director Angela Bassett to bring words of inspiration to our graduating Class of 2024. Her work has had a tremendous impact both on and off the screen and serves as an example for our students to lead in their own spaces,” said Spelman College President Helene D. Gayle, M.D., MPH. “We are equally honored to have a slate of strong Black women join us for our weekend ceremonies, including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Atlanta community icon Rose Scott and the esteemed Reverend Dr. Yvette Flunder. We look forward to them inspiring our graduates, their families and the Spelman community.”

The Class of 2024 comprises 504 degree candidates, with 325 Bachelor of Arts and 179 Bachelor of Science degrees being conferred. The commencement ceremonies, scheduled for May 18 and May 19 at the Georgia International Convention Center, promise to be a momentous occasion for the graduates, their families, and the entire Spelman community.

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