Renowned actor Morris Chestnut served as commencement speaker during the undergraduate ceremony

Nearly 200 students from all four departments of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences officially became the newest Aggie alumni on May 12 at Novant Field House, and on May 13 when they turned their tassels in the Greensboro Coliseum.

CAES students graduated at 8:30 a.m. in the first of two baccalaureate ceremonies, along with the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Education.

NAACP Image Award-winning actor Morris Chestnut, who served as commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremony, encouraged the graduates to “be allergic to mediocrity.”

Chestnut, who has enjoyed tremendous success as a film and television star for more than two decades, is best known for his memorable performances in “Boyz in the Hood,” “The Brothers,” “The Perfect Holiday,” “Think Like a Man,” “The Best Man” and its successful sequel, “The Best Man Holiday.” A cast member of the current Fox drama, “The Resident” as Dr. Barrett Cain, he earned a 2014 NAACP Image Award in the category of “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series” for his work in Showtime’s series “Nurse Jackie.”

“Talent gets you in the door; character keeps you there. Make sure that when you leave, your character and your discipline speak for you and that the university that nurtured you will be proud to have you back. You are legends in the making.”

Robert H. Newman, Ph.D., A&T Nathan F. Simms Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biology, was keynote speaker for the graduate student ceremony Friday afternoon, May 12, in Novant Health Fieldhouse at Greensboro Coliseum.

“There will almost certainly be times when you must choose between serving your own needs and serving the needs of others, times when you must decide whether you will remain in the shadows or shine as a light in the darkness. In those situations, I hope that you will remember your time at N.C. A&T and choose to catalyze kindness and to catalyze light – because that’s what Aggies Do.”

Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. opens the Graduate Program commencement

Joel Ford ’92, a member of the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors, presented Department of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Meeshay Wheeler-Williams, Ph.D., with a 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes the extraordinary contributions of faculty members across the UNC System.

Williams-Wheeler is an associate professor and program coordinator of child development and family studies as well as coordinator of the Child Development and Family Studies Program, both in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. She also coordinates the minor in child development and family studies. She is a Certified Family Life Educator and serves as co-advisor of the nationally-approved Family Life Education Certification program – the only one at a state-supported historically Black college or university.

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