Morgan State University President David K. Wilson announced the selection of Michael V. Drake, M.D., president of the University of California and widely-accomplished higher education administrator, as the keynote speaker for the 144th Spring Commencement.
The long-anticipated tradition and celebration of in-person commencement exercises returns to the National Treasure beginning May 14 and will conclude May 15 at Hughes Memorial Stadium on the university’s campus in Baltimore.
Due to the disruption of in-person commencement exercises for fall and spring 2020 as a result of the pandemic, Morgan will host three graduation ceremonies spanning two days.
Preceding May 15 undergraduate ceremonial event for 2021 spring graduates, Morgan’s 2020 undergraduate degree recipients will be honored during a special commencement exercise held May 14 at 9:30 a.m.
Later, there will be a separate ceremony held for 2020 and 2021 graduates receiving a master’s or doctoral degree. Graduates being honored at all three ceremonies will receive two tickets for guests and all those in attendance will be required to wear masks and adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols during the scheduled events.
Drake presently serves as the 21st president of UC’s world-renowned system of 10 campuses, five medical centers, three nationally affiliated labs, more than 280,000 students and 230,000 faculty and staff. Drake previously served as president of Ohio State University from 2014 through June 2020. Prior to his six years at OSU, his entire academic career has been at UC, including as chancellor of UC Irvine for nine years from 2005 to 2014 and as the systemwide vice president for health affairs from 2000 to 2005.
During the commencement ceremony, the University will bestow Drake with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Morgan will also confer a second honorary degree to legendary jazz musician and virtuoso, Lonnie Liston Smith, a 1961 graduate of Morgan State. Liston will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.