Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson will serve as the commencement speaker for Tennessee State University’s graduation ceremony on May 11, the school announced Tuesday.
The event is being held at the outdoor Hale Stadium for the first time in nearly 40 years. The stadium underwent major renovations and hosted its first football game in 14 years last fall.
“I am excited that Reverend Jesse Jackson accepted the University’s invitation to share his remarkable journey,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover in a press release. “His message will be extremely powerful as the nation and world commemorate this major event in history. TSU graduates will have the opportunity to hear from a central figure who was responsible for engaging youth in the Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington.”
TSU announced earlier this year they were combining two commencement ceremonies into a single outdoors event.
Jackson’s address will take place a week before First Lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to visit TSU’s Gentry Center to give a speech at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School’s commencement.