2017 Spring Commencement
Saturday, May 6, 2017 • 9:30 a.m.
Health and Physical Education Complex

Distinguished Speaker:

Karen Kendrick FVSUKaran Kendrick

Hollywood comes home to Fort Valley as actress Karan Kendrick is featured as the Fort Valley State University Commencement speaker. Kendrick has starred in movies and television shows that top the box office and Nielsen rankings, from the blockbusters like The Hunger Games and iconic films like Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail to CW’s The OriginalsGreenleaf on OWN, The Really Real, Army WivesHouse of Payne, and Documentary Now! She recently launched the Girls Empowerment Tour in support of the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Through the tour, select students across the country have the opportunity to join Kendrick in a discussion on how to choose excellence at every step on their journey, and how that choice can change the world. 

Ms. Kendrick will speak during ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 6 at the FVSU Health and Physical Education Complex, 1005 State University Drive in Fort Valley. Among the graduates will be valedictorian Abrahana James, a business major; 20-year old biology major Deja Clay, earning her degree in only two years after graduating high school with 44 credits; and 70-year old Matt Brown, a former R&B recording artist who toured with the superstars of the 50s and 60s. Clay is the youngest graduate in the class, while 76-year old Roger Green, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, is the oldest. 

“Karan Kendrick is proof that greatness comes from Fort Valley,” said Dr. Paul Jones, president. “She represents exactly the type of experience we expect for our students-emerging from Fort Valley prepared, confident, and determined to make their mark. Like Karan, the hundreds of brilliant and talented students who will walk across our stage have everything it takes to change the world through the arts, sciences, business, education, and military service, among other disciplines.”

Born and raised in Fort Valley, GA, Kendrick graduated from Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in drama and dance then earned an MBA in management from Wesleyan College in Macon, GA. The actress has shown her versatility by showcasing her dramatic prowess in movies, television, and live theatre. In addition to the aforementioned roles, she has appeared in Goddess (O’Neill Musical Theatre Conference), Breath and Imagination (The Colony Theatre), Drop Dead DivaThe Wronged ManFab Five: The Texas Cheerleading Scandal (Lifetime Television), and the feature films The Odd Life of Timothy GreenParental Guidance, and Merry Friggin’ Christmas.

No tickets were issued to enter the HPE Complex; however, upon reaching full seating capacity, individuals will be directed to an overflow viewing area in the C. W. Pettigrew Center auditorium. After 9:30 a.m., guests are invited to view the ceremony remotely, from the comforts of home or at the C. W. Pettigrew Center. Campus parking is free.

Visitors will park in outlying parking lots (follow the many posted signs) and enjoy arrangements of free shuttles running continual loops from the Wildcat Stadium to the Health and Physical Education Complex, and to the C. W. Pettigrew Center for non-ticket holders.

Parking is available for FVSU faculty and staff in the Bond Building parking lot and at the Wildcat Commons for students.

For questions regarding the ceremony, please call the Office of Academic Affairs, (478) 825-6330.



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