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“Empire” actress Taraji P. Henson will give the 2022 commencement speech at Howard University, her alma mater. Henson graduated from the university with a theater degree in 1995.
Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick released a statement on April 14 announcing Henson’s role as the commencement orator. Frederick noted Henson’s alma mater status as well as her advocacy efforts for HBCUs in the announcement.
“It is with great pleasure that the Howard University community will welcome alumna Taraji P. Henson back home to deliver the 2022 Commencement address. An accomplished actress and fierce champion for HBCUs and the African American community at large, Ms. Henson exemplifies the University tenets of excellence in truth and service. We could not be more excited to have her join us in celebrating the graduating Class of 2022.”
Howard University also shared the news on social media with a caption.
“We are proud to welcome alumna @tarajiphenson as the 2022 commencement orator! A 1995 graduate of the now Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts Henson says she is honored and humbled to address the class of 2022.”
We are proud to welcome alumna @tarajiphenson as the 2022 commencement orator! A 1995 graduate of the now Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts Henson says she is honored and humbled to address the class of 2022.
— Howard University (@HowardU) April 14, 2022
The “Hidden Figures” actress also released a statement which said Henson was honored to be returning to Howard University to deliver the commencement address to the soon-to-be graduates and their families.
“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,” she said. “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.”
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” actress garnered several Best Supporting Actress nominations for her role in the 2008 drama including Oscar, Screen Actors Guild and Critics Choice Award nominations. The accomplished actress has also won a Golden Globe Award, three BET awards and is the first Black woman to win a Critics Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, which she won for her role on “Empire.”
Henson will also be honored with the doctor of humane letters degree at the commencement ceremony, which is set to take place at the university on May 7.