Mayor Brandon Scott, Director John Waters Featured at UBalt Commencement Ceremonies, May 24 at The Lyric
April 28, 2023
Contact: Office of Advancement and External Relations
NOTE: Both University of Baltimore Commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed. Shortly before each event, click the links below for live coverage:
The University of Baltimore will hold its spring 2023 Commencement ceremonies for the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences on Wednesday, May 24 at The Lyric, adjacent to the campus. The University will host a stand-alone ceremony for graduate students, beginning at 10 a.m., and a stand-alone ceremony for undergraduates, beginning at 2 p.m. Both ceremonies will include a full platform party, student speakers, celebratory music, and the reading of individual graduates' names.
Acclaimed film director, author and social critic John Waters will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University during the afternoon undergraduate ceremony. A member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Waters has written and directed 16 films, including Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Polyester, and Serial Mom. He is the author of a number of books, including Carsick, Mr. Know-It-All, and, most recently, his debut novel, Liarmouth: A Feel Bad Romance. The novel is in development for Waters to both write and direct a film version.
During the morning ceremony for graduates, Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott will deliver a keynote address. Currently serving as Baltimore's 52nd mayor, Scott previously served as president of the Baltimore City Council, a term he began in 2019 after first being elected to serve Baltimore's 2nd District in 2011. He took on that role at age 27, one of the youngest people ever elected to the City Council. Mayor Scott was a member of the Young Elected Officials Network and served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for YEO's America's Cabinet. He also served as chair of the National League of Cities’ Large Cities Council.
Two student speakers, one undergraduate and one graduate, will deliver remarks for each ceremony. Tierra Major Kearney, who is expected to receive a Master of Science degree from the College of Public Affairs, will speak during the graduate ceremony. Rebecca McAfee, who is expected to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, will speak during the undergraduate ceremony.
Kearney, who has been at The University of Baltimore for two years, is completing her degree in Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship. Having earned her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University, she serves as the president of the Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship student organization and belongs to several national honor societies. In addition to her studies, Kearney works full-time as a mental health educator in higher education.
McAfee earned her first bachelor's degree in psychology from Frostburg State University, and her master's degree from Maryland University of Integrative Health in health and wellness coaching. She has served as a drug and alcohol counselor in various institutions including the Patuxent Institute and the Central Maryland Correctional Facility. A member of the National Society for Leadership and Success, McAfee volunteers with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The student speakers were selected by a panel of University representatives, based on the quality of their submitted remarks.
The University System of Maryland Board of Regents will be represented by Regent Gary Attman, who will offer greetings at the afternoon ceremony. UBalt President Kurt L. Schmoke will offer remarks at both ceremonies, and each school's dean will announce the graduates for the president to confer their degrees.
More information is available here.