National NAACP chairwoman to address Livingstone graduates
Bishop Seth Lartey is baccalaureate speaker
SALISBURY – A new chapter begins this weekend in the lives of more than a hundred students as Livingstone College holds graduation ceremonies on Saturday.
Commencement exercises will begin at 9 a.m. May 4 at the Livingstone Alumni Memorial Stadium on campus.
In case of inclement weather, ceremonies will be held in the new Trent Gymnasium. Each graduate will receive four tickets for their special guests if the program is held inside.
“There is a 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday. While we hope for the best, we are preparing for rain and want to ensure it does not dampen this special day for our graduates and their families,” said Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr.
“Many of our graduates are the first in their families to earn a college degree and this is a momentous occasion for the entire family,” Jenkins said. “We will try to accommodate as many family and friends as possible in case of rain, but seek your patience and understanding for any inconveniences that may be caused by the weather.”
Livingstone has secured Roslyn M. Brock as its 2019 commencement speaker. Brock is the youngest person and fourth woman to chair the National Board of Directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
An active member of the NAACP for nearly three decades before becoming chairman of its National Board of Directors in 2010, Brock founded the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit, a recruitment and training initiative to cultivate a new generation of civil rights leaders.
She directed the NAACP National Board’s historic policy decision to support marriage equality; and under her leadership, the NAACP produced the manual, “The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative.” She also commissioned a national task group to study the impact of charter schools on the nation’s public education system.
Brock is also a health policy advocate and social justice change agent. As chief advocacy officer for Bon Secours Mercy Health, a not-for-profit Catholic health care system with 43 hospitals in seven states and more than 57,000 employees, Brock directs advocacy efforts on health care policy and reform, health equity and social justice initiatives.
Her 30-plus years of professional experience includes health care policy and equity analysis, social justice advocacy, financial management, philanthropy, leadership formation and community development.
Brock graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Union University and also holds a master’s degree in health services administration from George Washington University; an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; and a master’s degree in divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Additionally, she holds honorary doctorate degrees from Virginia Union University, the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Smith College.
She is the recipient of the 2018 National Association of Health Services Executives Distinguished Health Care Leader Award; the 2018 Schaffner Award for Social Impact, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; 2017 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Humanitarian Award; National Urban League’s Women of Power Award; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Coretta Scott King Award; and the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Leadership Award.
Her personal philosophy is embodied in this African proverb: “Care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible.”
This outlook is reflected in her passionate advocacy on behalf of those who are poor, marginalized and vulnerable, and in her ministry as associate minister at the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va.
“Courage will not skip this generation!” ™️ is Brock’s trademark mantra.
Livingstone’s baccalaureate service will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Varick Auditorium with Bishop Seth O. Lartey as guest speaker.
Lartey, a native of Liberia, is presiding bishop of the Alabama-Florida Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
A member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees, Lartey is a 1976 graduate of A.M.E. Zion Academy in Monrovia, Liberia, and a 1980 graduate of Liberian Baptist Theological Seminary. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in intermediate education from Livingstone College in 1987; his master’s degree in religious education from the School of Divinity at Duke University; and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University in Madison, N.J.
Before his election as bishop, Lartey served as pastor of Goler Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Winston-Salem for nearly 20 years. He was founder and president of the Goler Community Development Corp., which built housing for the poor including 79 one-bedroom apartments for seniors.
The Livingstone College Class of 1969 will celebrate its 50th class reunion this weekend. Events include a welcome reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Salisbury; and a luncheon at noon on Friday at the college’s School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts on Jake Alexander Boulevard, followed by a reunion meeting.
These graduates will also participate in the baccalaureate service and be recognized during commencement on Saturday as “golden graduates” as they don gold caps and gowns.
Dubbed the “One of a kind, Class of 1969,” Bishop George E. Battle Jr., chairman of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees and senior bishop of the A.M.E. Zion Church, is a member of this class.
“This is the last full week of the official school year and activities abound for our students, graduates, alumni and friends,” Jenkins said. “We welcome you all to our campus this weekend as we salute our graduates who made it to the finish line in this chapter of their lives, and recognize our golden graduates who are still in the race of life and making a difference.”