According to reports, of the 96 graduating Doctor of Pharmacy candidates, 43 of them were Nigerians and of the 27 awards given, 16 went to Nigerians.
The university awarded more than 1,300 bachelor’s degrees, more than 300 master’s degrees, and over 100 Ph.Ds. The top five areas of concentration were Psychology, History, Political Science, Social Work and Mathematics. Additionally, more than 400 students received professional degrees in Law, Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry.
Howard University has the only dental and pharmacy colleges in the District of Columbia. The graduates represented 46 states and 35 countries. The youngest graduate at the ceremony was 20-years-old and the oldest was 74.
Speaking at the commencement lecture was US president, Barack Obama.
Obama said when he received a bachelor’s degree in 1983, there were no Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and few Black judges. He said it was important to note the progress America has made in race relations since then.
“” he advised.
Speaking from his own experience, Obama encouraged African Americans to continue to embrace their heritage and to “be confident in your Blackness.” Even so, he noted that there was no one way to be Black, and no litmus test for authenticity.
“Look at Howard,” Obama said. “One thing most people don’t realise about Howard is how diverse it is. You shatter stereotypes.”