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Bowie State University to Graduate About 400 Students at Winter Commencement

Bowie State University to Graduate About 400 Students at Winter Commencement
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on December 03, 2014

Former President of Spelman College, Bennett College to Address Graduates

Longtime educator Dr. Johnnetta Cole, who is the director of the Smithsonian National African Art Museum, will address about 380 graduates, including about 85 graduate students, at the Bowie State University commencement on Friday, Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will take place in the university’s Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex.

Dr. Cole is recognized for her leadership and service in a distinguished career as an educator and humanitarian, addressing issues involving gender, race and many other forms of inequality. She has served as director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art since 2009 and was previously president of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women.

She made history becoming the first African American woman to serve as president of Spelman College in 1987. During her presidency Spelman was named the number one liberal arts college of the South. During her presidency at Bennett College for Women, an art gallery was opened, and programs were initiated in women’s studies and global studies.
Dr. Cole holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D.



in anthropology, with a focus on African studies, from Northwestern University.

In addition to Dr. Cole, one of Bowie State University’s oldest alumni will be featured at the commencement. Barbara Fletcher Martin, 92, a longtime educator and former chair of the Prince George's County School Board, graduated in 1943 from the Maryland Teachers College at Bowie, now Bowie State University, with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Martin and her husband famously led the fight to reopen a school in the original building of the historic Highland Park high school in Landover, Md., where she currently lives. Highland Park was built as a school for black children before desegregation forced it to close. The school was reopened as an **** in 1999 and has since been declared a historical site.
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ABOUT BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The University places special emphasis on the science, technology, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit the website at www.bowiestate.edu.
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