On May 4, 2019, Wilberforce University will celebrate its 163rd Commencement. The 2019 Commencement exercises will honor graduates from the University’s College Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Studies, and the College of Graduate, Adult, and Continuing Education.

Wilberforce University’s  Baccalaureate and Commencement Speakers are driving forces in religious affairs, philanthropy, education, and activism.  

Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient Doctor of Humanities

Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is an honorary degree recipient and Wilberforce University’s Commencement Speaker. Since 2004, Dr. Michael L. Lomax has served as president and CEO of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students and a leading advocate of college readiness: students’ need for an education, from pre-school through high school, that prepares them for college success. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $1.5 billion and helped more than 110,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF’s work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black college and universities (HBCUs).

At UNCF’s helm, Dr. Lomax oversees the organization’s 400 scholarship programs, which award 10,000 scholarships a year. He also launched the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, which helps UNCF’s member HBCUs become stronger, more effective and more self-sustaining. Under Dr. Lomax’s leadership, UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform through partnerships with reform-focused leaders and organizations and worked to further advance HBCUs with Congress, the administration and the Department of Education. He serves on the boards of the KIPP Foundation, America’s Promise, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of African American History and Culture and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Before joining UNCF, Dr. Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a literature professor at UNCF-member institutions Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. He also founded the National Black Arts Festival and served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African American elected to that post.

Bacculaurate Speaker Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III is the Chancellor of Wilberforce University’s Board of Trustees, Presiding Prelate of the Third Episcopal District, Ecumenical & Urban Affairs Officer, AME Church.

Bishop Reid is an internationally known leader, innovative thinker and a preeminent power speaker.

Educationally equipped in the public school system in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Reid graduated from Central H.S. in 1969, attended the Rockefeller Foundations Yale Transitional Year Program in 1970, graduated from Yale University with a BA in 1974, Harvard Divinity School, M.Div., in 1978 and was a member of the distinguished Samuel Dewitt Proctor Fellows at United Theological Seminary, DMin., 1990. Reid’s commitment to educational empowerment led the Governor of the state of Maryland to appoint Dr. Reid to a second term on the 17-member Board of Regents, which “oversees the system’s academic, administrative, and financial operations; formulates policy; and appoints the USM Chancellor and the Presidents of the system’s 12 institutions.”

A “thought leader on issues of culture”; Dr. Reid served as consultant on the 1980’s NBC comedy AMEN.  Bishop Reid’s outstanding leadership and preaching has been recognized with numerous awards, in publications and on national platforms including:  The H. Beecher Hicks Outstanding Preacher’s Award, Cover Story for Charisma Magazine, Senior Statesman of The Hampton’s Minister’s Conference (2016), Father of The Year by the National Diabetes Organization, The Harlow Fulwood Community Championship Award, The Baltimore Chapter of the NAACP Leadership Award. In the 1990’s the legendary Outreach of Love TV Ministry featuring the messages of Dr. Reid, reached millions on BET, The Armed Services, and The Word Networks.  The Outreach of Love impacted and impressed an entire generation of preachers and teachers of the gospel.


WHEN: Friday, Saturday, May 3, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Wilberforce University, Gaston F. Lewis Gymnasium

1055 North Bickett Rd Wilberforce, Ohio 45834


WHEN: Saturday, May 4, 2019  at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Wilberforce University, Gaston F. Lewis Gymnasium

1055 North Bickett Rd Wilberforce, Ohio 45834


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