Dillard University will hold its 81st Commencement on Saturday, May 13, at 8 a.m., on the historic Avenue of the Oaks. The University will confer more than 160 undergraduate degrees that day.

“Janelle Monáe’s significant accomplishments in music and particularly, film and STEM, both signature programs here at Dillard, along with her activism made her the ideal person to deliver a timely message to our graduates,” President Walter M. Kimbrough, Ph.D., said. So for more than a year, he pursued Monáe for the University’s commencement speaker. Kimbrough tracked her down going through magazine reporters, record companies, and finally the national president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., to get her here. He said: “I believe this is her first commencement speech and we are very excited to see this day come.”

Immersed in the performing arts at a young age, she founded her record label the Wondaland Arts Society releasing the EP “Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase).” In 2010 Monáe released the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed “ArchAndroid,” which earned her two Grammy nominations, including one for the hit single “Tightrope.” In 2013 she released her highly-acclaimed album “The Electric Lady” which marked her highest first week debut in the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The album’s first single “Q.U.E.E.N.” garnered rave reviews and the accompanying video received a coveted MTV VMA Moonman. In February of 2015 Monáe launched her very own label, Wondaland Records.

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SOURCE: HBCU Buzz