ALBANY, Ga. — Albany State University will award bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees to graduates Saturday during its 2011 fall commencement.
The speaker will be Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History and distinguished professor emeritus of history at American University.
Reagon participated in the Civil Rights Movement in Albany. Suspended from Albany State College for her role as a student leader, she completed her undergraduate degree in history at Spelman College.
A Ford Foundation doctoral fellowship allowed her to continue her education at Howard University, where she earned a Ph.D. in history in 1975. Internationally recognized for her field research and public history projects in the evolution and history of African-American Culture, Reagon is a singer/song leader, composer and producer.
Her musical style is grounded in the Southwest Georgia congregational tradition. She was among many song leaders in the Albany Movement. She was a founding member of the SNCC Freedom Singers.
As a composer and producer, her work in film, television and radio documentary projects have earned her three Peabody Awards. She has produced more than 25 independent recordings.
ASU’s 2011 fall commencement will begin with the procession at 9:45 a.m. in the Albany James H. Gray Sr. Civic Center.