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Peralta Celebrates African-American Grads




Standing-Room-Only Audience Attends 11th Annual Celebration

The 11th Annual African and African American Graduation honored Peralta Community College District 2019, graduates on May 18, 2019 at the Beebe Memorial Cathedral.

The celebration opened with words from Beebe’s senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Charley Hames, Jr., and Dr. Lawrence VanHook, master of ceremonies and chairman of the annual event.

Student speaker Damon Wilson.

Acting Chancellor Dr. Frances L. White delivered the keynote address and was also honored as the first female chancellor of the Peralta Community College District.

Dr. Siri Brown, vice chancellor of Academic Affairs expressed the significance of an African-centered graduation celebration in her remarks on the life of Frederick Douglass and the need for Black graduates to continue his legacy.

Chancellor Dr. Frances L. White and Peralta Association of African American Affairs scholarship awardee Chanta ‘Via Turner.

Student speaker Damon Wilson moved everyone as he spoke about perseverance in a 30-year educational journey.

Dr. Herbert J. Kitchen, president of the Peralta Association of African American Affairs (PAAAA) and presidents Dr. Tammeil Y. Gilkerson, Laney College, Dr. Rowena Tomaneng, Berkeley City College, Dr. Timothy Karas, College of Alameda, and Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns, Merritt College presented 11 student scholarships—The Victoria M. Redus Legacy Award, Odell Johnson and PAAAA scholarships.

A standing-room-only audience of family and community members, faculty, staff, administrators and Board of Trustees, Meredith Brown, J.D. and Linda Handy were on hand to commend the graduates.

Merritt College husband and wife

Laney College graduate Lydia Hardee-Elliott.


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