araji P. Henson graduated 27 years ago from Howard University’s College of Fine Arts (now called the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts). The 2017 SAG award winner will return to her alma mater on Saturday, May 7, to deliver the commencement address to the outgoing class of 2022. At the ceremony, Henson will also be conferred with the honorary degree of ‘The Doctor Of Humane Letters’ (LHD).
Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard University’s president, spoke proudly of his famous graduate’s contributions to the world since her commencement in 2005. “It is with great pleasure that the Howard University community will welcome alumna Taraji P. Henson back home to deliver the 2022 Commencement address,” he said. “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.”
The Hidden Figures star has accomplished plenty on-screen. However, her notable achievements off-screen have made her this year’s worthy recipient of the institution’s LHD.
In 2018, Henson established The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (BLHF), named after her late father. The organization was founded to assist communities of color by providing access to mental health resources and support. And earlier this year, she was appointed to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, along with NBA All-Star Chris Paul and 16 other select individuals.
“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,” Henson said in a statement. “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.”
Photo: Jeff Kravitz / Getty