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U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris to deliver Howard University’s 2017 commencement address

The Howard alumna will address students on her old stomping grounds

On May 13, Howard University’s 149th graduating class will be witness to a truly historic event for its commencement convocation. According to the university, Kamala D. Harris, the second black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate, will deliver the keynote address to members of the Class of 2017 along with their families, university trustees, officers, faculty, staff and alumni.

The 52-year-old Howard alum was a political science/economics major at Howard and went on to earn her Juris Doctor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

“Howard shaped, nurtured and challenged me to soar on my chosen path, and I’m honored to speak to the Class of 2017 to encourage them to pursue their own dreams and live up to the promise of Howard,” said Harris. “Howard University has instilled in generations of students the drive to serve others, and to truly believe that anything is possible.”

After Howard University’s announcement on Twitter, Harris retweeted the post with a reply:

“Throughout her trailblazing career, Sen. Harris has demonstrated her commitment to youth in a variety of ways,” said Howard University president Dr. Wayne Frederick.

“She is a leader in mentorship programs, has authored legislation to fight child exploitation and unashamedly shattered both racial and gender barriers. As we exclaim the necessity of Howard University’s legacy — now more than ever before — and focus our vision toward the future, I have no doubt that our graduates will find Sen. Harris thought-provoking and inspiring.”

Harris is both the first African-American and first woman to serve as attorney general for the state of California. Throughout her career, Harris, a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader, has worked diligently to advocate for children and students. She established California’s Bureau of Children’s Justice and fought to reduce elementary school truancy so that every California student can exercise his or her constitutional right to an education. As state attorney general, Harris successfully sued predatory for-profit colleges that scam students and veterans.

On commencement day, Howard University will award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to the graduating class. Professional degrees will be issued in law, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.