Lawyer Ben Crump among three speakers at FAMU

National civil rights lawyer and Tallahassee resident Benjamin Crump will be one of three speakers at the summer graduation ceremonies held at Florida A&M University.

The ceremonies will honor the summer graduates of the class of 2021 and the graduates of the class of 2020.

Also speaking to FAMU graduates Monica Rainge, appointed Assistant Under Secretary for Civil Rights at the US Department of Agriculture in February, and Marcelia Freeman, who works in investor relations and product management for Clearlake Capital Group, in Santa Monica, California.

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FAMU ceremonies will take place at the Lawson Center from July 30 to August 1. Florida State University is hosting two summer debuts on Friday, July 30 at the Tucker Civic Center.

Monica Rainge, Assistant Under Secretary for Civil Rights, US Department of Agriculture

Rainge will speak to all 2021 graduates at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 30.

The Thomasville, Ga. Native received a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce from FAMU, a Masters of Agricultural Law from the Graduate Program in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas Law School and a degree in University of Florida law.

Marcelia Freeman, Investor Relations and Product Management for Clearlake Capital Group

Freeman received his BA and MBA in Finance from FAMU’s School of Business & Industry in 2005 and a second MBA from Harvard Business School in 2010.

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 31, she will address graduates of the School of Business & Industry, College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health and School of the Environment.

At 3 p.m., she will address the graduates of the Class of 2020 of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

Lawyer Ben Crump delivers an impassioned speech to a crowd outside Bethel Baptist Missionary Church at an event featuring Jill Biden, wife of presidential candidate Joe Biden and the family of George Floyd on Sunday November 1, 2020.

At 9 a.m. on August 1, Crump will deliver the 2020 Graduates’ Keynote Address from the College of Science and Technology, CAFS, School of Architecture and Electrical Technology, School of Journalism and graphic communication, the School of Nursing and the College of Engineering.

At 3 p.m. on August 1, it will address 2020 graduates of the College of Education, College of Law, and School of Allied Health Sciences.

Crump, considered the nation’s most sought-after civil rights lawyer, received his BA in Criminal Justice in 1992 from Florida State University and his Juris Doctor from FSU College of Law in 1995.

As of Monday, nearly 500 summer 2021 graduates and 1,060 2020 graduates have registered to participate in the ceremonies at the Lawson Center.

The 2020 Florida State University class had time to shine when it was recognized in an in-person ceremony on Saturday, May 22, 2021. FSU President John Thrasher tightened the hand of graduates as they walked across the stage, masks were optional.

Thrasher to address summer graduates

FSU President John Thrasher, who is retiring August 15, will deliver his last two keynote addresses on July 30 to summer 2021 graduates.

The 2 p.m. ceremony features graduates of Dedman College of Hospitality, Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship, College of Applied Sciences, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, College of Nursing, College of Business, College of Music, College of Health and Humanities, and College of Education.

The 7 p.m. ceremony is reserved for graduates of the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Film Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Faculty of Communication and Information, Faculty of Criminology and Criminal Justice , the Faculty of Social Work and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The State of Florida will award 2,923 degrees, including 1,817 bachelor’s degrees, 921 master’s degrees and specializations, 144 doctorates, three Juris Doctorates and 38 Juris Masters and LLMs. About 1,600 students are expected, according to a statement.

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Contact senior writer Byron Dobson at or on Twitter @byrondobson.

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