( **Note** - Both spring commencement exercises will be streamed live on the JSU website – www.jsums.edu. )
Close to 1,000 students will celebrate the completion of their undergraduate and graduate degrees during JSU’s spring commencement exercises on May 3 and 4.
Actor and author Hill Harper will address undergraduates during the ceremony at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson. IHL Commissioner Dr. Hank Bounds will speak at the graduate exercises at 6 p.m. Friday, May 3, in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center on the university’s main campus.
Guests are urged to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of each ceremony and to plan extra time for local traffic and parking. On Friday afternoon, the areas around JSU will experience heavy traffic along the Dr. Robert Smith Parkway, John R. Lynch Street and Prentiss Street. Please note, the doors to the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center will be closed promptly at 6 p.m. and won’t be reopened until after the commencement speaker has finished his address. Guests arriving after 6 p.m. will not be permitted to enter until the address has concluded.
On Saturday morning, heavy congestion is expected on Woodrow Wilson Avenue, Lakeland Drive, Old Canton Road and State Street. JSU faculty and staff members should park in Lot C at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
An award-winning actor, Harper has recently joined the cast of the hit drama, Covert Affairs. He earned two NAACP Image awards for his work on the popular TV series, CSI: New York. He has acted in several television series and movies, including the movie, For Colored Girls, and received critical acclaim for his performance in the independent film The Visit.
A graduate of Brown University and Harvard University, Harper has written several books, including The New York Times bestselling books, Letters to a Young Brother and Letters to a Young Sister. He has been awarded an additional three NAACP Image awards for his literary accomplishments. Harper’s newest book, The Conversation, explores the nature of love across generations and the current state of male-female relations. It offers practical solutions on how to improve communication across gender and age.
Bounds oversees the state’s public four-year university system, which includes the State Institutions of Higher Learning, four research institutions and four regional institutions. Mississippi’s public universities enroll more than 80,000 students and award more than 15,000 degrees each year. Bounds, a lifelong educator, previously served four years as state superintendent of education. As the chief executive officer of Mississippi’s public K-12 school system, Bounds launched several groundbreaking initiatives including “On the Bus,” a statewide dropout prevention campaign that garnered national attention.
Dr. Roosevelt Calbert will receive an honorary doctorate during Saturday’s ceremony. An alumnus of Jackson State University, Calbert has had a distinguished teaching and research career, including service as the Director for the National Science Foundation, Division of the Human Resource Development, responsible for broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering.
Both ceremonies are open to the public. The commencement ceremonies will be broadcast live on JSU’s website at www.jsums.edu. For more information on the 2013 Jackson State University commencement exercises, visit www.jsums.edu/commencement, or call 601-979-6949.