Congressman Hakeem Jeffries ’92 to speak at Class of 2020 Commencement

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From Binghamton University:

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries ’92 will be the keynote speaker at the Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony scheduled for Homecoming Weekend. Jeffries is the first Binghamton University graduate to serve in Congress. The fifth-term representative is one of the highest ranking Democrats in the House of Representatives, representing New York’s 8th Congressional District, which encompasses large parts of Brooklyn and a section of Queens. He is currently Caucus chairman and a former Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus.

More than a year after their graduation, Binghamton University will celebrate the degrees earned by the Class of 2020. The actual 2020 Commencement took place virtually last year, due to COVID-19 safety concerns, but this is an opportunity for members of last year’s graduating class to meet in person and celebrate their achievements.

“We are looking forward to hosting an in-person ceremony and welcoming the Class of 2020 graduates back to campus,” said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. “These students have earned the right to cross that stage after the COVID-19 pandemic forced an abrupt ending for them, and I’m thrilled they will get to hear inspirational remarks from Representative Jeffries, a strong advocate for economic and social justice. He has fought for higher education and all of New York state and we are honored to have him address our graduates.”

Jeffries, has a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University and a law degree from New York University. He majored in political science during his time at Binghamton, and was active in the Black Student Union and president of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. He credits his engagement outside of the classroom and in the Binghamton community with developing his confidence and his leadership skills.

“The Class of 2020 worked hard, ran the race and crossed over the finish line, all during a global pandemic that drastically changed our lives,” said Jeffries. “It is my privilege to return to my alma mater and congratulate a class that persevered and is now taking on the world. I thank President Harvey Stenger and the entire Binghamton University community for giving me this honor and look forward to celebrating the Class of 2020 and their achievements during Homecoming Weekend.”

The ceremony will follow the traditional Commencement format, including a pipe and drum band, music by Binghamton University’s Wind Symphony and remarks from various speakers. Graduates will walk across the stage with their guests present as they are recognized for their accomplishments.

This ceremony is only open to graduating students and their guests. Masks are required for all graduates and their guests, regardless of vaccination status.

The Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony will take place at noon Sunday, Oct. 10, in the Events Center on campus. For additional information, visit binghamton.edu/commencement.

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