ESPN President John Skipper will give the commencement address at Tuskegee University on May 13.
Skipper was invited to address the class of 2017 by Tuskegee President Brian Johnson, who said, “Tuskegee University is thrilled to have John serve as our commencement speaker. His leadership of one of the single most prominent media organizations in the world, as well as his influence in linking sports, media and culture to socially significant matters, is precisely the kind of voice we are proud to have speak to our very best and brightest. John is deeply aware of our rich tradition and we are confident he will inspire students who are embarking upon their own impactful trajectory.”
Located in Tuskegee, Ala., the school of 3,100 students was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington and is one of the 107 HBCU schools (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). ESPN, of course, has established a strong connection to HBCUs (see sidebar below).
Skipper stated, “It is a great honor and privilege to be invited to speak. Tuskegee is meaningful to me for its spectacular historical legacy and because of ESPN’s link to HBCU schools, including beyond the athletic events we cover. I look forward to being there, meeting students, interacting and learning more about Tuskegee University.”
Skipper follows two prominent speakers the last two years at Tuskegee: actor Tyler Perry and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Tuskegee is distinguished by its emphasis on STEM disciplines of study – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Helping raise ESPN’s profile among today’s scholars who can help create the infrastructure and systems supporting ESPN’s platforms and products of the future can only benefit everyone involved.
Jon McLeod produced the video.