Edward Waters University (EWU) is ecstatic to announce that Dr. Michael L. Lomax will serve as the featured speaker for the institutions 153rd commencement ceremony next month. This year’s commencement will mark a historic milestone for the state of Florida’s first independent institution of higher learning and first historically black college or university (HBCU) as the institution will officially confer its first-ever graduate degree(s)—the Master of Business Administration—upon graduates since the school achieved university status in the summer of 2021.

Since 2004, Dr. Lomax has served as President and CEO of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students and a leading advocate of college readiness: students’ need for an education, from pre-school through high school that prepares them for college success. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $3 billion and helped more than 110,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF’s work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black college and universities (HBCUs). At UNCF’s helm, Dr. Lomax oversees the organization’s 400 scholarship programs, which award 10,000 scholarships a year. He also launched the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, which helps UNCF’s member HBCUs become stronger, more effective and more self-sustaining.

Under Dr. Lomax’s leadership, UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform through partnerships with reform-focused leaders and organizations and worked to further advance HBCUs with Congress, the administration and the Department of Education. He serves on the boards of the KIPP Foundation, America’s Promise, Teach for America and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Before joining UNCF, Dr. Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a literature professor at UNCF-member institutions Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. He also founded the National Black Arts Festival, was a founding member of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African American elected to that post.

The much anticipated commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 9 a.m. in the Adams-Jenkins Sports and Music Complex on the venerable EWU campus. Tickets are required for admission and ticketed passage into the graduation venue will be strictly enforced.