Radio personality, philanthropist Tom Joyner to deliver Tuskegee commencement address to more than 600 graduates


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (May 3, 2011) – Tuskegee University will graduate more than 600 students during its annual commencement exercises in the Daniel "Chappie" James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 8. According to the Office of the Registrar, degrees conferred included the Doctor of Philosophy; Doctor of Veterinary Medicine; Master of Science; Bachelor of Arts; and Bachelor of Science. This will be the first commencement ceremony for the university’s sixth president, Gilbert L. Rochon, who officially took the helm of the institution in November 2010. 


This year’s keynote speaker is alumnus Tom Joyner, one of the most influential, inspirational and dynamic media personalities in the country today. The Tuskegee native is  an entrepreneur, entertainer and a philanthropist. He is founder of REACH Media Inc., the Tom Joyner Foundation,, and host of the leading nationally syndicated morning radio show, “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”


Joyner, a four-time Billboard magazine award-winner, has become a motivating and organizing force for the country. Throughout the year, his top-rated syndicated radio morning show features a who’s who in celebrities, political figures, newsmakers and comedians. He has led voter registration initiatives, brought awareness to health disparities and more. An advocate for education, the Tom Joyner Foundation, a charitable 501c3 non-profit organization, was started in 1998 for the sake of African-American students in need at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation. The foundation has raised more than $55 million to date for this single cause.


Doors to the James Center will open at 7:30 a.m. Only those with tickets will be allowed in the arena, and must be seated by 8:30 a.m. The processional of students and faculty will begin at 8:45 a.m. from Kresge Center to the James Center.


People without tickets will be directed to satellite locations in the James Center's museum, the University Chapel and the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center auditorium. There will also be a webcast of the day's exercises available at


For more information about commencement activities, including parking and tickets, go to


Other commencement activities include:

The Induction of Teacher Education Candidates will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 6 in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.  The speaker for the event will be Theodore Samuel, president of the Macon County Board of Education. 


On Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m., the baccalaureate ceremony will be held in the James Center. The speaker for the occasion is Carroll A. Baltimore Sr., president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc.


On Saturday at 1 p.m., the ROTC Officers' Commissioning will be held in the Tuskegee University Chapel. The speaker for the occasion is Brig. Gen.  Balan R. Ayyar, commander, USAF Recruiting Services. At 3 p.m., the Nursing and Allied Health Capping and Pinning Ceremony will be held in the University Chapel. Veta Robinson, laboratory manager of pathology and laboratory medicine service at Central Alabama Veterans Health Care Systems will deliver the keynote address.


A tradition of the university president, a reception for the graduation candidates and their parents, will be held at Grey Columns, the President's Home at 7:30 p.m.


On Sunday, immediately following commencement exercises, veterinary medicine graduates will take their official oath to their profession in the University Chapel.


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