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Former Obama staffer keynotes Livingstone
Jocelyn Frye is commencement speaker
Published Thursday, May 1, 2014 9:06 am
by Laurie D. Willis

SALISBURY – Jocelyn Frye, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., and former deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and policy director to First Lady Michelle Obama, will deliver the 2014 commencement address at Livingstone College on Saturday. 

Frye, a Washington, D.C., native, will speak at the 132nd annual commencement exercise, which begins at 10 a.m. inside Alumni Memorial Stadium on campus. In the case of inclement weather, the commencement exercise will be moved inside Varick Auditorium.

At the Center for American Progress, Frye focuses on a wide range of women’s issues, including work-family balance, pay equity and women’s leadership. Before joining the Center for American Progress, she spent four years serving as Deputy Assistant to Obama and director of policy and special projects for Michelle Obama, where she worked on two signature initiatives – combating childhood obesity and supporting military families – and also managed the young women’s component of the White House Leadership and Mentoring Initiative. The initiative connected selected local high school students with current and former White House staff to serve as mentors and provide them with a mix of career exploration, college preparation and educational opportunities.

“We’re delighted to have someone of Ms. Frye’s stature speak to our graduates at commencement,” said Livingstone President Jimmy R. Jenkins. “Her vast experience in the public and private sector, not to mention her work within the White House, lends itself to a dynamic, uplifting speech that our 2014 graduates are sure to remember and benefit from for years to come.”

During Saturday’s commencement exercises, Frye will be bestowed an honorary doctorate degree, joining Livingstone alumni Dr. G. Ray Coleman, Dorothy Colson, Larry D. Melton and the Rev. Vernon A. Shannon in that honor. 

Coleman, an Albemarle, N.C., native, is pastor of St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Durham. Colson is a former member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees and a former president of the Livingstone College National Alumni Association. Melton is a former member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees and a former professional football player. Shannon is pastor of John Wesley AME Zion Church in Washington, D.C., and also a former member of the Livingstone Board of Trustees.





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