From The Mississippi Link Newswire
JACKSON – Actor and author Hill Harper and IHL Commissioner Dr. Hank Bounds will be the speakers for Jackson State University’s spring commencement exercises May 3 and 4.
Harper will address undergraduates during the ceremony at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson. Bounds will speak at the graduate exercises at 6 p.m. Friday, May 3, in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center on the university’s main campus.
More than 1,000 students will celebrate the completion of their undergraduate and graduate degrees during the exercises.
An award-winning actor, Harper has recently joined the cast of the hit drama, Covert Affairs. He earned two NAACP Image awards for his work on the popular TV series, CSI: New York. He has acted in several television series and movies, including the movie, For Colored Girls, and received critical acclaim for his performance in the independent film The Visit.
A graduate of Brown University and Harvard University, Harper has written several books, including The New York Times bestselling books, Letters to a Young Brother and Letters to a Young Sister. He has been awarded an additional three NAACP Image awards for his literary accomplishments. Harper’s newest book, The Conversation, explores the nature of love across generations and the current state of male-female relations. It offers practical solutions on how to improve communication across gender and age.
Bounds oversees the state’s public four-year university system, which includes the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), four research institutions and four regional institutions. Mississippi’s public universities enroll more than 80,000 students and award more than 15,000 degrees each year. Bounds, a lifelong educator, previously served four years as state superintendent of education. As the chief executive officer of Mississippi’s public K-12 school system, Bounds launched several groundbreaking initiatives including “On the Bus,” a statewide dropout prevention campaign that garnered national attention.
Dr. Roosevelt Calbert will receive an honorary doctorate during Saturday’s ceremony. An alumnus of Jackson State University, Calbert has had a distinguished teaching and research career, including service as the Director for the National Science
Foundation, Division of the Human Resource Development, responsible for broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering.