Slutty Vegan’s Aisha Pinky Cole to Deliver Address during Clark Atlanta University’s 33rd Commencement Exercises
ATLANTA (May 12, 2022) -- Clark Atlanta University has announced that alumna, entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist Aisha Pinky Cole will deliver the address during its 33rd commencement exercises on Saturday, May 14, at 8:00 a.m. at the Clark Atlanta University Panther Stadium.
Cole is the restauranteur behind the Slutty Vegan and Bar Vegan ATL phenomena. She began selling Slutty Vegan's burgers via Instagram out of her apartment in 2018. Today, according to a recent Forbes article, Cole recently secured $25 million through a series of funding and Slutty Vegan currently has a market value of $100 million. Cole plans to open 10 more restaurant locations by the end of 2022 and another 10 by the end of 2023.
Cole graduated from CAU in 2009 with a major in mass communication/media studies. She was Miss Clark Atlanta in 2008 and was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Sigma Chapter.
“It is a full-circle moment to have Ms. Aisha Pinky Cole serve as Clark Atlanta University's 2022 Commencement orator. We are excited that Pinky — as we affectionately call her – will serve her alma mater in this capacity," said CAU President George T. French Jr., Ph.D. “We look forward to hearing her inspiring message to our scholars as we utilize this final opportunity of preparing them to conquer the world.”
"Pinky is a loyal and dedicated ambassador for CAU, making it known that she is a proud graduate at every opportunity,” he continued. “She is a consistent financial supporter and has helped many students continue their matriculation through graduation.”
To date, Cole has helped pay the tuition of 30 CAU students. In June 2020, she and President French announced the establishment of full scholarships for the children of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man who was fatally shot in 2020 by an Atlanta Police officer. The scholarships are valued at more than $600 thousand and will cover full tuition, room and board for all four of Brooks’ children when they are ready to attend college.
Cole is also founder of the Pinky Cole Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Slutty Vegan that focuses on financial literacy and entrepreneurship education—especially for communities of color. The organization recently launched a plan that supports the health, safety and well-being of the community during COVID-19. Other initiatives have included paying the rent for other small businesses in the Metro-Atlanta area, providing meals to the City of Atlanta’s supported foundations, and launching an Entrepreneurs Anonymous Digital initiative to help businesses affected by the pandemic.
Six valedictorians, one salutatorian make the grade
This year, six valedictorians and one salutatorian will be among the more than 800 graduates who will cross the commencement stage on Saturday morning.
The valedictorians, each with a perfect 4.0 GPA, are:
Adianna Alston, Bachelor of Arts in English
Calia Bass, Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
Derrian Carter, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Arts
Dacia Redmond, Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design/Merchandising
Tori Shoemaker, Bachelor of Arts in English/Spanish
Keara Watkins, Bachelors of Arts in English and Spanish
The salutatorian, with a GPA of 3.979, is Mya Pierce, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Arts.
For a full list of graduation activities, visit https://www.cau.edu/commence5.jpg
About Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is where students can receive a “World Class” education, culture, unwavering support and encouragement from faculty and staff. It is a research-intensive liberal arts institution that prepares and transforms the lives of the students it serves.
Clark Atlanta University is the largest of the 37 United Negro College Fund member institutions. It has a rich history in African-American leadership in social justice. Clark Atlanta students also participated in the development of the Atlanta Student Movement. Additionally, the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” revived and used in many of today’s marches for equality and justice, was written by alumnus James Weldon Johnson.
It is the largest private HBCU in the State of Georgia where its School of Business and Administration has the acclaimed accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Only 5 percent of the world’s school’s that offer business degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher hold AACSB Accreditation.
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. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu. #CAUStrong #OneExceptionalUniversity