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White House Director Dietra Y. Trent Will Deliver 2024 Commencement Address

April 22, 2024

Contact: Thonnia Lee, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Photo of Dr. Dietra Y. Trent

Tuskegee University is proud to announce that Dietra Y. Trent, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through HBCUs, will deliver the Commencement address on May 11 at Daniel “Chappie” James Arena.

Dr. Trent works closely with the Executive Office of the President and the Secretary of Education to implement a government-wide approach to break down systemic barriers to HBCUs participation in federally sponsored programs. In partnership with HBCU leaders and advocacy groups, Dr. Trent and her team work to promote key priorities related to advancing educational and economic opportunity for HBCUs across the federal government.  

“Tuskegee University is honored to have Dr. Trent join us for our 2024 Commencement ceremony,” said Dr Charlotte P. Morris, Tuskegee President. “Her dedication to HBCUs like Tuskegee, offers a kindred connection in mission by providing academically challenging experiences to students who want to experience the living legacy found at HBCUs.”  

A native of Halifax County, Virginia, Dr. Trent earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Hampton University. Tuskegee founding principal Booker T. Washington attended what was then Hampton Institute. After graduating, he became the first principal of Tuskegee Institute.

Dr. Trent has 25 years of higher education and public policy experience.  She completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Commonwealth University.   She served as Interim Vice President for Compliance, Diversity and Ethics at George Mason University. In 2016, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed her Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Previously, she served as Deputy Secretary of Education, a position she also held during the Administration of then-Governor Tim Kaine.      


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