Clark Atlanta University Confers Degrees Upon 700 Graduates at Commencement


Sam D. Burston

ATLANTA, GA – May 17, 2019 Clark Atlanta University’s (CAU) newest graduating class includes 562 undergraduates, 200 graduate students, and 19 doctoral candidates who were honored during commencement ceremonies held on campus Monday, May 20, at the CAU Panther Stadium located at 735 Beckwith Street SW, from 8:00 am EDT to 12:00 PM EDT.

Former Tallahassee, FL Mayor and Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Gillum delivered this year’s Commencement address. Gillum spoke to nearly 10,000 guests of the CAU undergraduate and graduate students who are earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as specialist certifications. He charged the graduates to become the example for future generations to follow.

“Be the best example that you can possibly be, not only to your family and friends and the people you know, but to the children whose names and stories you do not know,” said Gillum.

A champion for everyday people, Andrew Gillum inspired millions across Florida and the nation in 2018, surging past four better-funded primary candidates to a history-making victory as the Florida Democratic Party's first African-American nominee for governor. Following his historic run for governor, Andrew Gillum was honored as one of the EBONY Power 100 and named a 2019 Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School. In January of 2019, Gillum joined CNN as a Political Commentator. Gillum resides in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, R. Jai, and their three children — Jackson, Caroline and Davis.

CAU awarded honorary degrees to Gillum and to legendary jazz vocalist & pianist Lionel Frederick “Freddy” Cole. An accomplished musician, Cole studied at the Juilliard School of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music before going on to record several albums for European and English based labels in the 1970s. He worked with Grover Washington, Jr. and recorded jingles for various companies, including Turner Classic Movies. Cole was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and was nominated for Grammy awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2010 and 2018.

Keymani Reid, a computer science major with a 4.0 GPA was the class valedictorian. Octavia Crumpton, a political science major with a 3.83 GPA, was the class salutatorian.


2019 CAU Commencement Exercises

2019 CAU Baccalaureate Exercises


About Clark Atlanta University

Established in 1988 by the consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is one of the Nation’s foremost research institutions, offering students from around the United States and several foreign countries the opportunity to engage in 38 exciting areas of study at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. Located in the historic heart of Atlanta, one of the world's great international cities, CAU’s nearly 4,000 students enjoy access to academic and co-curricular experiences, from forensic debate, to on-air broadcasting, to cancer research with world-renowned investigators. From the arts to zoology, CAU combines nearly 300 years of tradition with a solid focus on academic excellence to produce leaders who will shape the future of the global community. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit