Today, Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick announced that award-winning actress, filmmaker, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Taraji P. Henson will address Howard University’s graduating class of 2022 at the 154th Commencement Ceremony on May 7.
“It is with great pleasure that the Howard University community will welcome alumna Taraji P. Henson back home to deliver the 2022 Commencement address,” said Dr. Frederick, president of Howard University. “An accomplished actress and fierce champion for HBCUs and the African American community at large, Ms. Henson exemplifies the University tenets of excellence in truth and service. We could not be more excited to have her join us in celebrating the graduating class of 2022.”
Henson – who is a 1995 graduate of the Howard University College of Fine Arts – was recently appointed by President Joe Biden to join the White House HBCU Initiative advisory board. The University will bestow upon Henson the Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL).
“I am honored and humbled to be returning to my alma mater, Howard University, to deliver this year’s commencement address to the graduating class of 2022 and their families,” said Henson. “Returning to Howard always feels like coming home and I cannot wait to share this incredible moment with Howard students as they prepare to take the next step in their journeys to success.”
Henson is an award-winning actress, producer and director, a best-selling author, and a noted philanthropist and advocate of mental health services through her foundation. In 2018, she created the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation to work toward eliminating the stigma around mental health issues in the Black community.
Throughout her career, the Washington, D.C.-born Henson, has been nominated for several awards, including three Emmys, two People’s Choice Awards, and an Oscar nomination for her role as Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She has also won a Screen Actors Guild Award, several NAACP Awards, three BET Awards, and a Golden Globe for “Best Actress – Television Series Drama” in 2016.
In 2016, Henson became a New York Times best-selling author with her memoir Around the Way Girl, and four years later she launched her production imprint, TPH Entertainment, with producing partner Christine Conley in the fall of 2020. The goal of the company is to create projects that challenge audiences to think differently and offer new perspectives and opportunities. Currently, Henson is filming the upcoming movie The Color Purple, directed by Blitz Bazawule.
Howard University’s 154th Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022.