Philander Smith College Announces 2016 Commencement Speaker

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Little Rock, Ark.  – Philander Smith College will hold its 128th Commencement at
10 a.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is slated to be the keynote speaker. Since 1995, Jackson Lee has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving the 18th Congressional District of Texas. Having served on various House Committees, she was integral in the passage of legislation that impacted areas such as technology, security and infrastructure protection, bullying prevention and immigration.

In addition, Jackson Lee played a significant role in the renewal and re – authorization of the Voting Rights Act, and contributed to an amendment that ensured equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged students to NASA’s education programs.

A frequent guest on network and cable news including Face the Nation and MSNBC, Jackson Lee has tenaciously served her community and country and earns the distinction of being one of the most influential and prolific legislators in the House of Representatives. Jackson Lee earned a B.A. in political science from Yale University with honors, and holds a juris doctorate from the University of Virginia Law School. EBONY magazine also named her one of the “100 Most Fascinating Black Women.”

For more information about Commencement activities, contact Jennelle Primm at 501-370-5310


Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is one of the oldest private, historically Black institutions of higher learning in Arkansas. A four-year liberal arts college, the institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is the only United Negro College Fund member school in the state. Philander Smith College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of NCA.

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