Roland S. Martin speaks at JSU’s fall commencement

Photo by Jay Johnson

By Jackie Hampton,


Roland Martin, keynote speaker at the commencement
Hudson presided over the commencement.

Jackson State University’s Fall commencement was held Friday, Dec. 9, at the Lee E. Williams Athletic & Assembly Center, located at 1400 Lynch Street in Jackson.

The keynote speaker was Roland S. Martin, managing editor of #RolandMartinUnfiltered.

JSU President Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., presided over the commencement.

Hudson said to the graduates, “This is your day. We are here to celebrate you, so I encourage you to enjoy this accomplishment, for it is a tremendous milestone in your life and a major step in your career.”

When Martin took to the podium he shared a story about one of his nieces that is in college.

He told the story that when she was in kindergarten, there was a noticeable change in her happy free spirit. It was later revealed that her teacher had broken her spirit by telling her that a picture which she had drawn was not good. As a result of the interaction, Martin had his niece removed from that class.

Martin said, “It offended us that a teacher would somehow stop this amazing, wonderful mind and begin to say her artwork wasn’t good enough when she’s a kindergartener, when she should’ve been teaching them to think far beyond what they were actually doing.”

Martin wanted the graduates to have confidence in themselves when they walk into a room. He said, “There are some folks who are present, but there are some folks who have presence.”

In closing he said, “This is your moment to lead. This is your moment to create. This is your moment to stand up. This is your moment to be able to challenge and show the world exactly who you are and what you are made of.”

See graduation photos, page 13.

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