On Sunday, Spelman College held its commencement ceremony, marking for the fourth time in history the HBCU had multiple valedictorians.
Maya Blasingame, Amaia Calhoun, Chandler Nutall, and Sydney DuPree were all named valedictorians for the class of 2023.
“I feel just really excited and grateful. I think for me, coming in as a biology major, I was like, I’m just trying to make it through it,” Blasingame said.
Calhoun, an economics major, will soon start her career at Princeton University’s Investment Company as an investment analyst.
Nutall, an English major who also served as a Spelman Social Justice Program Fellow and the 81st president of the Spelman Student Government Association plans on attending law school after completing a fellowship in New York.
DuPree plans on staying local in Atlanta to work toward her dream of becoming a casting director. She is currently signed to Atlanta’s Forward Agency.
On their special day, The ladies were also joined by commencement speaker, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, and actress Tracee Ellis Ross, who obtained an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Spelman.
Both Hannah-Jones and Ross shared powerful words of advice with graduates and their families.
Hannah-Jones urged graduates to “control your own excellence.” “So you work every day to make yourself undeniable in a world that wants to deny you everything,” she said.
Ross encouraged the graduates not to “be afraid to be bad at something,” and to remember the safety and acceptance of their college community as they venture out into the world.
“May the safety and belonging of these walls send you forward in your choice to change the world with the protection of your sisters and your ancestors — and with me, your best friend in your head,” she said.
Congratulations to the entire Spelman College Class of 2023 and the recognized valedictorians, and may their future shine bright!