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Mon, Apr 22, 2024

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Year of Global Africa: Distinguished African Leaders to receive Honorary Degrees  (Student Events)

Two prominent African leaders will be on campus to receive honorary degrees during the 2018 Spring Commencement. Michigan State University's commencement ceremonies will be held on May 4 at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, 534 Birch Road.

Undergraduate Convocation: May 4 - 1:00 p.m.

Justice Albert "Albie" Louis Sachs, activist and former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, will receive an honorary doctorate of law. Sachs' career in human rights started at 17, when, as a second-year law student at the University of Cape Town, he participated in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign, which was the first large-scale, multi-racial political mobilization against apartheid laws under a common leadership. At the age of 21, he started practicing law, working to defend people charged under racist statutes and security laws. After being placed in solitary confinement, Sachs went into exile in 1966 in England. He spent 11 years studying and teaching law there, followed by another 11 years teaching in Mozambique, South Africa.

Advanced degree ceremony: May 4 - 3:30 p.m.

Akinwumi "Akin" Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group will receive an honorary doctorate of agriculture. Adesina was elected president of the African Development Bank Group in 2015. He previously served as Nigeria's minister of agriculture and rural development. During his tenure, he established transformative agriculture policies and empowered millions of rural farmers through the introduction of an electronic wallet system that provided seeds and fertilizers to farmers.

Commencements are free and open to the public. The convocation will also be live streamed and can be watched at

Additional details regarding public activities are forthcoming.

Location: Breslin Center, Michigan State University