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NCCU Awards 412 Graduate and Professional Degrees

Chenjia Liu, the first graduate of the Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist training program, a newly-established partnership between the School of Education and Beijing Language and Culture University
Bakari Sellers, CNN political analyst and NCCU Graduate and Professional Commencement speaker
Graduates of NCCU's School of Social Work MSW program
NCCU School of Law graduates

First graduate of NCCU and Beijing Language and Culture University partnership among degrees awarded

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) awarded 303 master’s degrees and 119 law degrees during the 2018 Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony on May 11.

Top master’s degrees awarded were 92 Master of Science, 82 Master of Social Work, 24 Master of Library Science and 21 Master of Public Administration.

Among the honorees recognized was Chenjia Liu, who graduated magna cum laude from the Communications Disorders program. A native of China, Liu will begin her post-college career working for the public school system in Jacksonville, N.C.

“Not only is she the first in her family to attend graduate school in the United States, but she is also the first graduate of the Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist training program, a newly-established partnership between NCCU’s School of Education and Beijing Language and Culture University,” NCCU Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye said.

Guest speaker Bakari Sellers spoke to the graduates about boxer Joe Frazier, who won a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics after losing an important bout to a rival. Sellers, who holds degrees from Morehouse College and the University of South Carolina, noted the persistence of the Class of 2018, comparing post-baccalaureate education to a “relentless series of blows to the head.”

“You’re more rare than you even realize,” Sellers said. “Right now, there are a little more than 2 million college graduates in North Carolina. Of those 2 million, only about a third, or 690,000, have graduate or professional degrees. And of those, only 96,000, or about 14 percent, are black. That’s less than 1 percent of North Carolinians and 6 percent of all Americans.”

He charged the graduates to become change agents working to rectify inequalities in American life.

“You are living, breathing examples that the age of miracles has not passed,” Sellers said. “This moment hangs pregnant with change and possibility.”

Sellers, 33, became the youngest African-American elected official in the nation in 2006 when he won a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives, defeating a longtime incumbent for the post. He was a member of President Barack Obama’s South Carolina Steering Committee in 2008 and delivered addresses at the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Convention.

A link to photos and a breakdown of graduate degrees is available here.

NCCU will hold its undergraduate commencement ceremony beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 12. For more information on NCCU’s 131st Commencement exercises, please visit: http://web.nccu.edu/commencement/

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