Central State University Announces Speakers for the 2017 Commencement and Baccalaureate Ceremonies

Central State University (CSU) will celebrate the 2017 Commencement of its graduating class on May 6. Mrs. Jennifer Benjamin Pinckney, widow of the slain South Carolina State Senator and Pastor, the Honorable Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney, is the Commencement speaker.

Mrs. Pinckney has enjoyed a fruitful career as a Public Service Librarian at Aiken Technical College, and as a Media Specialist in the Aiken County Public Schools. She is currently serving as the Media Specialist for the Richland County School District.

Mrs. Pinckney continues her husband's work to improve the quality of life of the citizens of South Carolina with the establishment of a charitable foundation in his honor, The Honorable Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation.

Mrs. Pinckney and her daughter are survivors of the horrific 2015 American tragedy. The world still mourns with her family and the members of the South Carolina historic Mother Emanuel AME Church of Charleston, South, Carolina. Her message of hope, forgiveness and perseverance will resonate with the graduates and their families. The Saturday, May 6 event will be at 10 a.m. at the Dayton Convention Center. Tickets are required for admission.

Approximately 240 graduates from 16 states and the District of Columbia will receive their degrees at the ceremony. Commencement is one of two weekend events that celebrate the 2017 graduates.The Baccalaureate Ceremony will be held at 5pm on Friday, May 5, in the University’s Paul Robeson Cultural & Performing Arts Center auditorium in Wilberforce. The graduates and the CSU community will be inspired by this year’s Baccalaureate speaker, Dr. Larry L. Macon, Sr., Senior Pastor of the Mt. Zion Church of Oakwood Village, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Macon has been a pastor, teacher and civic leader of the Greater Cleveland community for the past 34 years. Dr. Macon’s ministry focuses on the family and specializes in the areas of spiritual, personal and transformational growth. With two morning services, 25 operating ministries and a membership of 5,000, Mt. Zion is one of the leading churches in the Greater Cleveland community. This event is open to the public.

For more information about the speakers and events, visit centralstate.edu.

About Central State University:

Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio, is a regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant University with a 130-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research and service. The University fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation and STEM-Ag curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally.


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