Two Raleigh schools host graduation ceremonies for 2020 and 2021 graduates

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This year, Saint Augustine’s University graduates are part of a historic commencement ceremony, after last year’s was postponed due to COVID.

Saint Aug’s hosted an in-person, socially distanced graduation Saturday for the class of 2020 and 2021 in the George Williams Athletic Complex. Raleigh City Manager Marchell Adams David was the keynote speaker at the historically Black university in Raleigh.

The school awarded an honorary doctorate degree to Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represented the family of George Floyd in Minnesota and who now represents the family of Andrew Brown Jr., who was shot to death by Pasquotank County deputies as they served search and arrest warrants.

In accepting the degree, Crump said he had to thank the students of St. Augustine’s because they became his “co-counselors” in the Floyd case.

“You all tweeted, you all posted, you all marched, you all continued to fight in the court of public opinion for not only George Floyd, not only Breonna Taylor — now you’re fighting for Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City...,” he said. “I want it documented that without you young people marching with the activists, there is no way that we would have achieved justice in Minneapolis.”

Bercario Bodie, who graduated from SAU in May 2020 and was senior class president, said in a statement that inviting his class to this graduation shows the culture and compassion of SAU.

“I am honored and excited to be a part of this HBCU legacy,” Bodie said.

Meredith College also kicked off its commencement events on Saturday in Raleigh, with ceremonies for 2020 graduates in the courtyard behind Johnson Hall on campus.

There will be another ceremony for the Meredith Class of 2020 at 11 a.m on Sunday. Ceremonies for Meredith’s Class of 2021 will be held the weekend of May 15.

Several other graduation ceremonies are scheduled in the coming weeks. Here’s a list with more details on North Carolina universities’ 2021 spring graduation plans.

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