The countdown to the best day of the year — Commencement — has begun. Congratulations to all our grads!
Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 10:00 A.M.
Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island
3052 West 21st Street, Brooklyn, New York
Class of 2023 Honorary Recipient
The recipient of our Honorary Doctorate degree at the 2023 Commencement Ceremony is Founder, Collector, and Executive Director of the Cultural Museum of African Art, Inc., Mr. Eric Edwards.
Mr. Eric Edwards, born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, has spent more than five decades curating one of the greatest private collections of African art in the world. Critical in his mission to educate others about the richness and vibrant truths of African culture, he has acquired more than 2,500 artifacts. His collection includes art, ceremonial pieces, instruments, statues, masks, and weaponry.
Class of 2023 Commencement Speaker
Attorney Lezli Baskerville is a Biden-Harris appointee to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans. She is the CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the membership/ advocacy association of the richly diverse HBCUs and PBIs, including Medgar Evers College, a founding member of NAFEO.
Baskerville is a founding investor and General Counsel of ECRID, a new credit bureau founded by former NFL touchdown leader and financier Cleveland Gary. ECRID offers second chances for its credit report holders to demonstrate creditworthiness, fully participate in commerce and secure myriad loans including those for education and mortgages.
Class of 2023 Valedictorian Sherifa Clarke
Sherifa Clarke is an ASAP Bachelor Extension student, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Economics and a (possible) minor in Computer Information Science. She is a first-generation college graduate with a current GPA of 3.9. She was born and raised in Jamaica and began her academic journey at Medgar Evers College (MEC) in 2019. She credits her drive to complete her degree to a promise she made to her father before he passed in 2017. She recalls that she didn’t have a specific degree in mind when she applied but kept insisting, “I owe my father a college degree; he didn’t specify which” when she first met Andy Rennie in the academic office while touring the six colleges she was accepted to.
CLASS OF 2023 ASSOCIATE DEGREE SCHOLAR
Zhoe Emmanuel is a Smart Scholar student, graduating with an Associate of Science Degree in Biology. As a Smart Scholar, she is dually enrolled at Medgar Evers College and a partnered high school, Medgar Evers College Preparatory School. Zhoe will be graduating this year from the college with a GPA of 3.9 and from the high school, with a GPA of 102. Zhoe is a first-generation American, born to two St. Lucian parents and will be the second person in her family to graduate from college. Her parents moved to America with the sole goal of giving her a better life and because of that, she committed herself to never letting any opportunity go to waste. With a desire to leave no stone unturned and to have her foot in every door, she has become known by her peers and mentors as the “girl who has done everything.”
Martiny Derameaux is a SEEK student who came to Medgar Evers College in the fall 2019 after completing a GED. As a single parent, who had been out of school for an extended period, she came with many fears and trepidations. Through those initial fears, developmental courses and challenging professors, she persisted. Not even a pandemic could stop her. She utilized summer sessions to graduate Magna Cum Laude in 3 ½ years with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She also earned an Associate’s Degree in Science. Martiny never lost sight of her goal of achieving her dreams of earning her degree and fully utilized all of the SEEK Program services, particularly tutoring. It’s a hard-earned goal Derameaux is proud to have achieved.
MEDGAR EVERS COLLEGE LEGACY
For Nefertari Skeete, being an alum of Medgar Evers College is a family affair. Her father, Dereck Skeete, is not just a lecturer in the Chemistry and Environmental Science Departments, but he graduated in spring 1995 as a CUNY BA/BA student with a BA in Mathematical Physics. His middle child’s choice to matriculate at his alma mater was one that made him immensely happy.
“Medgar Evers College is a home away from home that gives a lot of support to their students,” Dereck said. “As a result, I felt that my daughter Nefertari would surely thrive in such a supportive and nurturing environment.”
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