Tyler Perry to be Speaker for Tuskegee’s Spring Graduation
Tyler Perry will soon bring his message of inspiration and encouragement to the newest class of Tuskegee University graduates. The multi-talented entertainer will give the keynote address for the 2016 Spring Commencement Exercises. Perry will speak to approximately 500-plus graduates on May 7 at 10 a.m. CST in Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Arena.
Perry is the latest in a succession of notable figures in the arts and entertainment industry that have been invited to enlighten the university community and follows First Lady Michelle Obama, who addressed graduates last spring. In 2015, actress and director Phylicia Rashad was the speaker for the Summer Commencement Exercises. Also, the institution has recently culminated its Tuskegee University Lyceum Series that invited guest speakers such as actress Tasha Smith and author Wes Moore. Tuskegee University President Brian Johnson’s vision for transforming Tuskegee and obtaining an increased enrollment includes university-wide initiatives, many of which involve building a culture around the arts and humanities. One of these initiatives includes putting an “A” in STEM to create STEAM.
“Tuskegee University is thrilled to have Mr. Tyler Perry. Similar to Mrs. Michelle Obama’s spring 2015 commencement address at Tuskegee, the university is certain that Mr. Perry will leave an indelible mark upon our graduates for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, Mr. Perry’s global contributions to film, media, service, philanthropy, and the arts embody a significant piece of the university’s trajectory seen in the recent board of trustees adopted strategic plan, and a recent $500,000 gift from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to establish a new music and performing arts program to assist the university in putting the “A” in STEM.” Johnson said.