Howard University recently announced that critically acclaimed actress and alumna Taraji P. Henson will speak at the spring 2022 commencement ceremony. The 154th Commencement, set for Saturday, May 7 on the Yard, is the university’s first in-person graduation open to guests since the start of the pandemic.
“We could not be more excited to have her join us in celebrating the graduating Class of 2022. Howard University will confer upon Henson the honorary doctorate of humane letters,” President Wayne A.I. Frederick shared in an email.
Henson, who studied theater in the College of Fine Arts before graduating in 1995, will join the university’s long list of notable commencement speakers. She has received numerous accolades for her acting performances, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance for an Actress in a Television Series and several NAACP Image Awards. Recently, Henson, along with basketball player Chris Paul, were appointed to the White House HBCU Initiative advisory board by President Joe Biden.
In addition to her accomplishments as an actress, Henson has also been recognized for her philanthropic work. In 2018, she founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (BLHF), a non-profit named after her father, a Vietnam War veteran. The foundation focuses on providing mental health resources to the Black community.
Henson expressed her gratitude for the university, as well as her excitement for the Commencement ceremony. “I am honored and humbled to be returning to my Alma Mater, Howard University, to deliver this year’s Commencement address to the graduating Class of 2022 and their families. Returning to Howard always feels like coming home, and I cannot wait to share this incredible moment with Howard students as they prepare to take the next step in their journeys to success,” Henson said.
Copy edited by: Ashleigh Fields