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Graduation guidance is going to be epic this year. Just what do you say to new graduates who were ready to start the next chapter of their lives before the Coronavirus outbreak changed the world?

Last year, Jesse Russell, who pioneered the development of the cellphone’s wireless technology and received a Black Engineer of the Year Award in 1992 for his technical contributions, recalled the challenge of working at Bell Laboratories as a new graduate from Tennessee State University in the 1980s.

“As I stand before you and reflect on a meeting at Bell Labs in 1984, where a young man from Tennessee State had the confidence necessary to challenge the teaching of the Bell System of putting phones in places and asked the question, ‘Why not focus on putting phones on people? That idea gave rise to digital cellular technology and ultimately a digital cellular communications industry,” Russell said.

Russell called on the nearly 500 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree candidates at Morgan State University to pursue excellence, study continuously and value courage and character.

One thing that’s being consistent during the Coronavirus pandemic is just how resilient human beings are. Across the United States, we have seen countless individuals and organizations pull out all the stops to help communities in need. There are many inspirational examples of people providing courage, teaching others how to be strong, and spreading hope.

In December 2019, nearly half of employers polled for NACE’s Job Outlook 2020 survey rated the job market for the Class of 2020 as “very good” and nearly 10 percent deemed it “excellent.” Employers indicated that the students they are seeking in this college job market are those who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, provide evidence of their problem-solving skills and ability to work as part of a team, and have a strong work ethic.

Experts say a good number of Millennials and Gen Z graduates are entering the workforce with commanding resumes. Many are looking forward to beginning the next phase of their life where their hearts are.

Save these dates on your calendar to listen to commencement speeches that will layout stories of people who are working around the clock to develop vaccines or treatments that will target the infection caused by the novel coronavirus, and those demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit for the road ahead.

Spring 2020 Commencement

Alabama A&M University, Friday, May 1
Florida A&M University, Saturday, May 9
Howard University, Saturday, May 9
Prairie View A&M University, Saturday, May 9

Hampton University, Sunday, May 10
Morgan State University, Thursday, May 14 and Saturday, May 16
Southern University Baton Rouge, Friday, May 15
University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Friday, May 15

The Virginia State University Spring 2020 Commencement is postponed.

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