Virginia Union University Announces Commencement Speaker Keshia Knight Pulliam

April 25, 2018

Contact:  Pamela Cox

Interim AVP for Communications

Virginia Union University

 (804) 257-5856

(804) 937-7936


Virginia Union University will celebrate Commencement on May 12, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. on the historic Hovey Field, 1500 N. Lombardy Street, Richmond, VA, 23220. 333 graduates will be awarded degrees during the ceremony.

Commencement Speaker
The 2018 Commencement speaker will be Keshia Knight Pulliam, actress, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Best known for her role as Rudy Huxtable on the groundbreaking Emmy and Golden Globe award winning television show “The Cosby Show,” she became the youngest person ever to be nominated for an Emmy Award. She has also starred in several movies and television shows including “Beauty Shop,” “Madea Goes To Jail,” and Tyler Perry’s award winning TV show “House of Payne,” which she won four NAACP Image Awards.

Ms. Pulliam graduated with honors from Spelman College in 2001 with a B.A. in Sociology and a concentration in Film. While at Spelman, she was a Bonner Scholar and joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In college, her entrepreneurial spirit grew as well as her love for political activism and philanthropy. She remains very active as an advocate for underserved communities.

In 2010, Pulliam started her non-profit “The Kamp Kizzy Foundation,” a free mentorship camp for youth ages 11-16 held in Atlanta, Georgia. Kamp Kizzy attracts kids from around the country. In 2014, she was awarded the “Daily Point of Light Award” by Points of Light, a volunteer service organization for which President George H.W. Bush is the Honorary Chairman. In addition, she was also the recipient of the “Phoenix Award” and the “Community Service Award Key,” from the City of Atlanta for her work in the community.

Baccalaureate Service

Baccalaureate Service will be held on Friday, May 11 at 6:00 p.m. in Coburn Hall. The speaker will be Rev. Dr. Gregory M. Howard, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church East End in Newport News, Virginia and President of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia.

Dr. Howard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management and Development from Bluefield College and a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.  Rev. Howard earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Homiletics from the Aquinas Institute of Theology at St. Louis University.  He was honored as a 2009 Joe R. Engle Fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Public Policy.  He is the author of Black Sacred Rhetoric: The Theology and Testimony of Religious Folk and Talk and Voices Crying Out in The Wilderness: Contemporary Theologies of Preaching both published by BorderStone Press.  Dr. Howard serves on the Board of Trustees at Virginia Union University and is an adjunct instructor at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology.

Media Sign-In
Media planning to attend should contact Kiara McGowan-Powell at kmcgowan-powell@vuu.edu or (804) 257-5856, to reserve a press pass.

Rain location: Arthur Ashe Athletic Center, 3001 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23230