Lincoln University announced that Bryan Stevenson, the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, will be the keynote speaker at the HBCU’s 2024 Commencement Ceremony.

This year will mark the institution’s 165th Commencement Ceremony. The event will take place on May 5 on Lincoln’s main campus, and around 400 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their degrees.

“Bryan Stevenson addressing our graduates at Lincoln University’s 2024 Commencement Ceremony stands as a testament to the university’s dedication to fostering critical thought and pursuing social justice. His profound commitment to human rights and equity resonates deeply with the enduring principles that Lincoln upholds,” Lincoln University President Dr. Brenda A. Allen said in a press release.

Stevenson will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. He won’t be the only public figure to become a recipient and be recognized for this legacy. The ceremony will also honor Johnnetta B. Cole, who became the first Black woman president of Spelman College in 1987, as well as Cherelle L. Parker, the first woman to become the Mayor of Philadelphia in January of 2024.

The ceremony will also confer an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to the iconic musician and artist Stevie Wonder.

“These esteemed individuals have made significant and lasting contributions to society, embodying the excellence and leadership that we champion at Lincoln,” Dr. Allen said. “Their presence will undoubtedly elevate the importance and prestige of this year’s commencement, inspiring our graduates as they embark on their journeys to shape the future.”