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Andrew Young to Address Class of 2013 at Johnson C. Smith University Commencement May 19

Charlotte, N.C. (April 23, 2013) – Johnson C. Smith University will hold its 141st Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2013 on Sunday, May 19 at 8 a.m. at the Irwin Belk complex on the University campus.

Commencement speaker is Ambassador Andrew Young, who has served many years in public office as Congressman, United Nations Ambassador and Mayor. He is also known for his leadership in the Atlanta Olympic Games, his advocacy of investment in Africa through GoodWorks International and for establishing the Andrew J. Young Foundation.

Young confronted segregation with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and galvanized a movement that transformed a nation through non-violence. He was a key strategist and negotiator during the Civil Rights Campaigns in Birmingham and Selma that resulted in the passage Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Johnson C. Smith University will present Honorary Doctorate degrees to Andrew Young and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Leading up to commencement, the university will hold a Baccalaureate Service at 6 p.m. on May 17 in Jack S. Brayboy Gymnasium. Guest speaker is Rev. Michael L. Pfleger of the Roman Catholic  Archdiocese of Chicago, where he serves as Senior Pastor of St. Sabrina Parish. He is founder of the Employment Resource Center, the Ark Youth Center, Saint Sabina Social Service Center, The Bowman Spiritual Advance Center, Samaritan House for the homeless, Saint Sabina’s 80-unit Elders Village and the Beloved Community, Inc. He has been recognized by the national media for his fight against alcohol and tobacco billboards, drugs and racism.

Both ceremonies are free and open to the public. More information may be found at


Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is the premier independent urban liberal arts university located in the heart of Charlotte, N.C. It offers a progressive liberal arts curriculum with 26 fields of study to more than 1,600 students. The University prepares students for success through excellent academic programs with a focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility.          


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