The 'Greatness in the Room'
“The greatness in this room can be seen, felt and heard,” said Cesquinn Curtis, associate vice president, Division of Student Affairs while speaking at Karamu Ya Wahitimu/Celebración de los Graduados on Wednesday.
Cesquinn Curtis, associate vice president, Division of Student Affairs
Karamu Ya Wahitimu/Celebración de los Graduados is a pre-commencement tradition that was presented by the E. Timothy Moore Student Multicultural Center (SMC) inside the large commencement tent on Manchester Field on the Kent Campus.
Ramone Hardy, digital media production major and member of Kent State's Class of 2023
It is a final “rites of passage” graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of all graduating African American, Native American, Latino, Hispanic and multiracial undergraduate and graduate students.
More that 250 people attended the celebration. Michael Daniels, Ph.D., director of the Student Multicultural Center (SMC), said having so many families and friends present, along with representatives from across the university, is a significant part of this program’s continued success.
Michael Daniels, Ph.D., director of the Student Multicultural Center
Daniels said the people in attendance were moved by the remarks made by the speakers at the event, as they felt represented in the stories they shared. He also added, “I loved seeing the students with their children crossing the stage along with them. It reminds folks that these graduates are more than just students.”
The ceremony was especially personal for Daniels. “These undergraduate students were part of the first cohort that I brought in as director of the SMC, so I had the opportunity to watch this group grow over the last four years,” he said.
Arianna Bliss (left), studio arts major and member of Kent State's Class of 2023.
Several longtime supporters of the SMC receiving their graduate degrees also were in attendance. “Seeing staff members who have helped make the program a success for years like Dr. Lashonda Taylor and Dr. Yvonna Washington-Greer participate as graduates was so special, and we were glad we could celebrate their achievements,” said Daniels.
New doctoral degree holders, Daysjia Simone Black, Ed.D., Lashonda Taylor, Ed.D., (center) and Yvonna Washington-Greer, Ph.D.(right)
At the ceremony, speakers provide remarks before students are recognized and each is bestowed with a cultural stole by a faculty member in their respective college.
Karamu Ya Wahitimu/Celebración de los Graduados is part of a full schedule of Spring Commencement activities this week at Kent State.