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Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) celebrated one of its largest class of degree candidates on May 15. More than 1,000 graduates were honored at the first in-person commencement since the pandemic. According to PVAMU, over 800 bachelor’s, 102 master’s, and seven doctoral degrees were conferred in Panther Stadium.

Last year, 1,739 students graduated in virtual ceremonies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This weekend, unique recognition ceremonies were held to celebrate their achievements with an in-person event. PVAMU alumna and award-winning comedienne, host, and actress Loni Love delivered her oration to these graduates and she was bestowed with the Presidential Medal, which is given to individuals who have made significant cultural, social, economic, or scientific contributions that benefit society. Watch the Loni Love address here.

President Ruth J. Simmons also presented an honorary degree upon Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D., who served as the 2021 commencement speaker. Dyson is Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Science and University Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society in the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University.

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