(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University will celebrate three commencement ceremonies this week over two days, honoring the 2021 Graduate Class and the Golden Diploma Class of 1971 at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center (AAC); the 2021 Undergraduate Class at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium; and the 2020 Graduate and Undergraduate Classes at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Here are details about the speakers for each of the ceremonies.
2021 Graduate Class/1971 Golden Diploma Class
9 a.m. Friday, May 7 in the Athletics and Assembly Center: The speaker will be Dr. Errick Greene, superintendent of Jackson Public Schools. Greene was appointed superintendent of JPS in October 2018. He quickly led his team and the broader community in developing a bold new vision and strategic plan for the district and restructured the central offices to better support schools and increase overall efficiency.
Under Dr. Greene’s leadership, the school district improved one letter grade on the state’s accountability system in his first year, increased private funding to support the strategic efforts, and made significant strides in resolving the numerous state standard violations.
2021 Undergraduate Class
9 a.m. Saturday, May 8, Veterans Memorial Stadium: The speaker will be U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson, who is serving his 13th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Thompson represents Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District, where he has spent his entire life fighting to improve the lives of all people. Thompson is the longest-serving African American elected official in Mississippi and the lone Democrat in the Mississippi Congressional Delegation. He was a founding member of the Mississippi Association of Black Mayors. Also, Thompson served as the first Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
2020 Graduate and Undergraduate Classes
6 p.m. Saturday, May 8, Veterans Memorial Stadium: The speaker will be Jordan Jefferson, a 2020 graduate of Jackson State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and is pursuing a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard University. Jefferson is currently the staff assistant to U.S. Rep. Thompson.
At JSU, Jefferson served as president and vice president of the Student Government Association. A student-athlete, he maintained a 3.9 GPA while playing wide receiver on the JSU Tigers football team and was named Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2019 and 2020. Jefferson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. His most prestigious honor to date is being named a Rhodes Scholar finalist in November 2019.