After months of uncertainty, the classes of 2021 and 2020 were welcomed back to campus to commemorate their graduation with a safely distanced, outdoor Commencement ceremony at Greene Stadium on May 8, 2021. The activities were livestreamed for friends and family to watch virtually.
“You have demonstrated tremendous resilience to reach this milestone,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick to the graduates at the 153rd Commencement.
“Under difficult personal circumstances and national upheaval, you decided to persevere in your chosen field of study. At a time when no one could have faulted you for becoming complacent or distracted, you pursued your studies with a renewed passion because the pandemic reinforced your ‘why’ and reminded us all that a Howard education truly comes to life when it is deployed in the service of others.”
Attorney and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson, who is founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), served as keynote speaker.
“Today, we have the special opportunity to call ourselves Howard alums,” said Stevenson. “But more than that, we have a special obligation. A Howard degree means you have an identity that allows you to say things that the world needs to hear. Today, we’re going to have to commit to changing some of the things we see around us.”