Howard University’s Graduate School Dean Orlando L. Taylor will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s Graduate Commencement exercises at 3 p.m. Friday, May 14, in Cassell Coliseum.

Approximately 1,000 master’s degree and Ph.D. candidates will be honored at the Graduate Commencement ceremony.

The University Commencement ceremony, which honors all undergraduate and graduate degree candidates, will be later that day at 7 p.m. in Lane Stadium.

Taylor has been dean and vice provost for research of Howard’s Graduate School since 1993. He is a national leader in graduate education and has served on numerous national boards, including as chair of the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools and chair of the Jacob K. Javits Fellows Program Fellowship Board. He heads Howard’s efforts, along with those of 13 other research universities, to make doctoral education more responsive to societal needs and students’ interests. Howard University is the nation’s largest on-campus producer of African-American Ph.D. recipients.

Harold L. Martin Sr., chancellor of Winston-Salem State College in North Carolina, will be honored during the Graduate Commencement ceremony with the Graduate Alumni Achievement Award developed by Virginia Tech’s Graduate School and the Virginia Tech Alumni Association.

Martin received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech in 1980. Although an accomplished computer engineer, Martin has spent his career as a university administrator and has worked to improve the quality of minority higher education in North Carolina. The Greensboro Business Journal dubbed him “The Chancellor of Change” for his successful efforts at Winston-Salem State, which included adding the college’s first graduate programs.

Graduate School Dean Karen DePauw has commissioned an original composition from the Department of Music for the Graduate Commencement exercises and plans to make this a regular component of future ceremonies. Kent Holliday of Blacksburg, Va., Virginia Tech professor of music in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, wrote this year’s piece, “Quodlibet,”

The Graduate Commencement ceremony will be broadcast locally on campus and on Adelphia Cable in Blacksburg.

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