Poet Nikki Giovanni will receive an honorary degree
The Roanoke College Class of 2023 is preparing to walk across the stage for its commencement ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on campus on Saturday, May 6. The Class of 2023 is comprised of approximately 450 graduates who will receive a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science or bachelor of business administration degree.
Ceremonies begin Friday, May 5 at 4 p.m. with Baccalaureate in the Morris M. Cregger Center arena. Baccalaureate is the annual worship service for the graduating class. The Rev. Christopher Bowen, the Timothy Pickle Dean of the Chapel, presides over the service and delivers the message. All graduates, families and guests are welcome to attend Baccalaureate. No tickets are required.
Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, May 6 at 10 a.m. on the Turbyfill Quad at Roanoke College. Commencement exercises are open to all family members and guests, with no ticket required.
This year marks Roanoke College President Frank Shushok Jr.’s first Commencement ceremony. Shushok will preside over the ceremonies and greet each graduate as they receive their diploma.
During the commencement ceremony, an honorary degree will be awarded to poet and author Yolanda “Nikki” Giovanni. Giovanni is the author of more than two dozen volumes of poetry and essays, 11 illustrated children’s books and 10 albums and recordings. She has won numerous national literary awards, including an American Book Award, Caldecott Medal, Carl Sandburg Literary Award, Langston Hughes Award and Gwendolyn Brooks Award. She was also nominated for a Grammy for best spoken-word album.
Giovanni is a powerful voice for the Black and Appalachian experience. She is a seven-time recipient of the NAACP Image Award, and she received Woman of the Year awards from Ebony, Ladies Home Journal and Mademoiselle magazines. She also received the Appalachian Medallion Award and the John Henry “Pop” Lloyd Humanitarian Award, among many others. Giovanni retired from Virginia Tech in 2022 as university distinguished professor emerita.
Giovanni is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, who grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University. In addition to writing, Giovanni had a lifelong career as a teacher, with positions at Queens Colleges, Livingston College of Rutgers University, Ohio State University, Mount Saint Joseph’s College and Virginia Tech.
Commencement will be held on the Turbyfill Quad rain or shine. The commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6 will be livestreamed.
In the event of severe inclement weather conditions, Commencement exercises will be moved to the Salem Civic Center at 1001 Roanoke Boulevard in Salem. If necessary, the announcement of a move indoors will be made in the morning on Saturday, May 6 via Maroon Alert, social media and the Roanoke College website. More information about the severe weather plan is available here.
The link for the 2023 livestream will be posted several days before ceremonies take place.
-The Salem Times-Register
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