Ambassador Susan E. Rice to Address Spelman College Class of 2010

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Ambassador Susan E. Rice will address the graduating class of 2010 along with Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund to receive an honorary degree. Michael Beckwith, founder of Agape International Spiritual Center to serve as the Baccalaureate speaker.

Susan E. Rice, Ph. D., United States Ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, will receive an honorary degree and serve as the keynote speaker to 560 graduates for Spelman College’s Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 16, 2010, at the Georgia World Congress Center at 3 p.m.

“Ambassador Susan Rice embodies the dynamic leadership and commitment to global engagement that we expect from our graduates,” said Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum. “Her presence at commencement will be a source of inspiration for all of us.”

A noted scholar and public servant, Ambassador Rice is currently the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She previously served on the National Security Council staff at the White House under President Clinton, and as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, also during the Clinton administration. Ambassador Rice is a graduate of Stanford University, a Rhodes Scholar, and completed her doctorate in international relations at Oxford University.

Honorary Degree Recipient: Marian Wright Edelman, Children’s Defense Fund

Marian Wright Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, will receive an honorary degree at commencement. Mrs. Edelman is a former chair of the board of trustees of Spelman College, and founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF). A servant leader over the course of her entire professional life, she began her career in the mid-60s. Mrs. Edelman was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar and later directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. She has advocated for families and the disadvantaged and continues to be an activist for children. As the nation’s strongest voice for children and families, the CDF is a thriving institution under Mrs. Edelman’s leadership.

Baccalaureate Speaker: Michael Beckwith, Agape International Spiritual Center

Michael Beckwith, Ph. D, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center, will serve as Baccalaureate speaker on Saturday, May 15 at 9 a.m. on the Spelman College Campus Oval. He is the originator of the ‘Life Visioning Process’—which he teaches throughout the country along with meditation, scientific prayer and the spiritual benefits of selfless service. Dr. Beckwith is also the author of “Inspirations of the Heart”, “Forty Day Mind Fast Soul Feast”, and “A Manifesto of Peace.”

For more information about Commencement and Baccalaureate ceremonies go to


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Nekeidra Taylor
Spelman College
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