Morgan State University President David Wilson today announced that the Honorable Graca Machel will be the commencement speaker for the University’s 139th spring graduation ceremonies on May 16, 2015. Machel is the widow of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
“This is an extraordinary honor for Morgan and for our graduates,” said Dr. Wilson. “Madam Machel is an international leader in many respects and her work to improve the conditions of people around the world is inspirational for our students and fits well with the mission of this great university.”
As the widow of both Nelson Mandela and of former Mozambican President Samora Machel, Graca Machel is the only woman in history to have been first lady of two republics at different times. She served as first lady of Mozambique from 1975 until 1986 and, after marrying Mandela in July of 1998, served as the first lady of South Africa until 1999. She is known around the world for her humanitarian work and is a staunch advocate for the rights of women and children. She helped establish, Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, and currently chairs the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. A graduate of the University of Lisbon, Machel was named among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010. She is author of the book, “The Impact of War on Children.”
Madam Machel will join her late husband, Nelson Mandela, in receiving an honorary doctorate at the Morgan Commencement. He will be posthumously awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and she is to receive the Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. The University will also honor Dr. James E. West, a research professor at Johns Hopkins University, who will receive the Honorary Doctor of Science degree for his ground breaking work developing the Electroacoustic Transducer Electret Microphone. Dr. West helped create the technology on which most microphones used today are based.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie classified doctoral research institution offering more than 60 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees as well as programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s public urban university, Morgan serves a multi-ethnic and multi-racial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information on Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
Photo appears in Destiny Connect.com’s article “Graca Machel condemns Nigerian kidnappers“, by Bulelwa Dayimani