The Spelman College community is gearing up for the May, 2011 commencement address by First Lady Michelle Obama. University President Beverly Tatum had been requesting the White House to consider her all womens liberal arts college for the high honor.
Spelman is the lone Historically Black College and University in 2011 where Mrs. Obama will deliver the charge for the graduating class of 2011.
“In a personal address, the first lady will discuss her upbringing, and the significance of being part of the first generation in her family to graduate from college,” a White House source told theGrio. “She will also encourage the graduates to continue to serve their communities, embrace the challenges ahead of them, and strive to fulfill their ambitious goals.”
Mrs. Obama will also be speaking at the University of Northern Iowa and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point this May. She will speak to graduates of the Quantico Middle High School in Quantico, Virginia this June.
Meanwhile, President Obama has announced he will be addressing the graduating class of 2011 at Miami Dade College this spring. The White House has also revealed he will deliver 2011 commencement season speeches to the Coast Guard, and the winner of the commencement challenge.
The list means the President will not be making a commencement address at an HBCU this year. Needless to say most of the HBCU’s in the country were vying for the prestige of having the President of the United States deliver the 2011 commencement address.
President Barack Obama spoke at Hampton University’s commencement last year, telling graduates: “Now that your minds have been opened, it’s up to you to keep them that way, and it will be up to you to open minds that remain closed.”
The black college student population particularly at the nations HBCU’s showed massive support for then Presidential candidate Barack Obama to win the Oval office in 2008.
President Obama was criticized during his first year in office for not delivering an address to an HBCU particularly after Morehouse and Lincoln colleges made requests. Morehouse made the request when he was a candidate for President. Obama White House officials acknowledged the commencement requests were under consideration.