Cheyney University Graduates 300 in Class of 2011

May 5, 2011

Class of 2011 valedictorian, Eric Parker, with Provost Ivan Banks

Class of 2011 valedictorian, Eric Parker, with Provost Ivan Banks

Cheyney University President Michelle R. Howard-Vital and Provost Ivan Banks will present the 2011 Cheyney University graduating class at commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 7 at 11:00 AM in the historic quadrangle on campus.

"This is a special year at Cheyney University," said President Michelle Howard-Vital. "As we approach the celebration of our 175th anniversary, we are pleased to have a special person to address our graduates. This year best-selling author, award winning actor and dedicated activist Hill Harper will be our commencement speaker."

Hill Harper, an alumnus of Harvard Law School, is best known for his portrayal of Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on the CBS drama television series CSI: New York. Harper graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and also graduated with a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is the founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, dedicated to empowering, encouraging, and inspiring underserved youth to succeed through mentorship, scholarship and grant programs. Hill travels frequently as a motivational speaker and resonates with a wide range of audiences including youth, adults, and couples.

He was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and he has been acting since the age of seven. During his years at Harvard, he was a full-time member of Boston's Black Folks Theater Company, one of the oldest and most acclaimed black theater troupes in the country. While a student at Harvard, Harper befriended future President Barack Obama. Harper and Obama met on the basketball court and became good friends during their first year as law students.

The 2011 graduating class includes 53 students who will receive Masters degrees and 247 students receiving Bachelors degrees. University officials acknowledged the 39 students who had been admitted to ten campus Latin Honors Societies, the 21 students graduating from the Keystone Honors Academy, and an unprecedented double valedictorian honor to Eric Parker and Ebelechukwu Nwafor.