TSU gears up for Vice President Kamala Harris’ historic commencement address as excitement builds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University officials say the campus is all a buzz as the 2022 Spring Commencement ceremonies kicked off on Friday and continues this morning with Vice President Kamala Harris. Vice President Harris will deliver the keynote address at the Undergraduate Spring Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m., at Hale Stadium.

“Overjoyed is an understatement to how I feel about Vice President Kamala Harris delivering the keynote address,” says Tiara Thomas, student trustee on the TSU Board of Trustees, who will receive her bachelor’s degree in political science.

“I am so grateful to have a woman like Vice President Harris who has been exactly where I’ve been, step by step, as an HBCU grad, and is where I’d like to be someday. This has pushed my TSU experience over the top.” 

Mallory Moore, a Birmingham native and outgoing Miss TSU, added, “I am super excited to have as my commencement speaker the most distinguished HBCU alumnus in the United States.” Moore is receiving her undergraduate degree in health science.

Sydnei Everett’s graduation is still a year away, but the first-year graduate student is among many like her who wish they were graduating Saturday. 

“I looked on Instagram and saw that TSU had posted the graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies and I said, ‘wait a minute, is that Vice President Kamala Harris?’ She’s actually speaking to the Class of 2022,” Everett says. “I wish that was my class. I look up to Kamala Harris a lot. Not only is she my sorer, but just a prominent figure for black women today.” 

Derrick Sanders, the outgoing Student Government Association president, who will receive his bachelor’s degree in English on Saturday, sums up all the excitements this way: “Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to TSU as the commencement speaker is a chance for students to see who they have the ability to be, hear from one who sat in the same seat as they, and be inspired by one of the most distinguished HBCU alumni in the United Stated of America. This opportunity speaks volume to the fact that anything is possible if you have the right mind.” 

You must have a ticket to attend today’s commencement with Vice President Harris. Graduates received 10 tickets for the event. Nearly 600 graduates are expected to walk across the stage. On Friday, Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin was the keynote speaker for the Graduate Commencement ceremony. Music industry giants and mega producers Dallas Austin and Sir James the Baptist received honorary doctoral degrees along with PhD and master’s candidates. 

For more information on https://www.tnstate.edu/records/commencement/

Graduating seniors are excited with anticipation about the historic visit to mark this major milestone in their lives.