- Virtual Graduation Messages for the Class of 2020 from Former President Barack Obama, Toni Braxton, Jerry Rice and Other Prominent Black Americans
- Inspirational and Encouraging Messages from More Than 20 HBCU Valedictorians and Ambassadors
HAMPTON, Va. (May 20, 2020) — ESPN’s The Undefeated, will present ‘HBCU Day’ on Saturday, May 23 at 1 P.M. EST, to celebrate the Class of 2020 graduates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Utilizing the hashtag #UndefeatedHBCUDay, the virtual celebration will feature a collection of videos and written content shared all day across The Undefeated’s social accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) and curated on www.TheUndefeated.com.
Former President Barack Obama headlines a list of prominent African Americans who will deliver congratulatory and inspirational messages to this year’s HBCU graduates. Others include Grammy Award-winning artist Toni Braxton, actor Omar Epps, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, The Heritage Foundation President and Hampton alumna Kay C. James, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, and more.
“While it saddens me that our nation and the world are navigating new circumstances that do not allow for normalcy, I am happy that Hampton University can take part in ESPN’s celebration of the HBCU Class of 2020,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President. “If conditions permit, Hampton University still plans to honor our graduates with a ceremony Sunday, September 27, 2020. In the mean time, this virtual event allows our nation’s HBCU graduates to honor their accomplishments.”
Our Home by the Sea will feature prominently throughout ESPN’s HBCU Day event. In addition to Hampton alumna Kay C. James' congratulatory message, fellow HU alumna and CIAA Commissioner Jacqui Williams will serve as a panelist for the HBCU Day: Together We Go Further discussion. Jonathan Mack, a 2020 HU graduate and the 74th HU Student Government Association President is one of 20 valedictorians or ambassadors that will share an inspirational and encouraging messages to their fellow graduates. Whitney Bronson and Randall Williams, Hampton 2020 graduates and members of the Rhoden Fellowship Class of 2020, will pen graduation-themed essays.
“We are proud to present ‘HBCU Day,’ a celebration of the next generation of leaders who have been educated by our Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Kevin Merida, ESPN Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of The Undefeated. “The day is a reminder of the brilliance and potential of the 2020 graduating class, and of the role HBCUs continue to play in the development of this country.”