SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Jocelyn Frye, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., and formerly a Deputy Assistant to President Barack Obama and Policy Director to the First Lady, will deliver the 2014 commencement address at Livingstone College on Saturday, according to a press releases provided to WBTV.
Frye, a Washington, D.C., native, will speak at the 132nd annual commencement exercise, which begins at 10 a.m. inside Alumni Memorial Stadium on campus. In the case of inclement weather, the commencement exercise will be moved inside Varick Auditorium.
At the Center for American Progress, Frye focuses on a wide range of women's issues, including work-family balance, pay equity and women's leadership. Before joining the Center for American Progress, she spent four years serving as Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Director of Policy and Special Projects for First Lady Michelle Obama.
Frye's duties included overseeing the broad-issue portfolio of Mrs. Obama, with a particular concentration on women, families and engagement with the Greater D.C. community. She worked on the First Lady's two signature initiatives – combating childhood obesity and supporting military families – and also managed the young women's component of the White House Leadership and Mentoring Initiative. The initiative connected selected local high school students with current and former White House staff to serve as mentors and provide them with a mix of career exploration, college preparation and educational opportunities.
Before joining the Obama Administration, Frye served as General Counsel at the National Partnership for Women & Families, where she focused on employment and gender discrimination issues, with a particular emphasis on equal employment enforcement efforts and employment barriers facing women of color and low-income women. During her 15-year tenure at the National Partnership, she testified before Congress and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on federal enforcement of employment discrimination laws and also analyzed the effectiveness of federal equal employment enforcement efforts.
Prior to working at the National Partnership for Women & Families, Frye worked for four years as an associate at Crowell & Moring LLP, a Washington, D.C. law firm, and specialized in white-collar crime.
Frye received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Harvard Law School. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Brian Summers.
"We're delighted to have someone of Ms. Frye's stature speak to our graduates at commencement," said Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. "Her vast experience in the public and private sector, not to mention her work within the White House, lends itself to a dynamic, uplifting speech that our 2014 graduates are sure to remember and benefit from for years to come. I look forward to having her on our campus and to hearing the sage words she will impart to our graduates."
During Saturday's commencement exercises, Frye will be bestowed an Honorary Doctorate Degree, joining Livingstone alumni Dr. G. Ray Coleman, Dorothy Colson, Larry D. Melton and The Rev. Vernon A. Shannon in that honor.
Coleman, an Albemarle, N.C., native, is pastor of St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Durham. Colson is a former member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees and a former president of the Livingstone College National Alumni Association. Melton is a former member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees and a former professional football player. Shannon is pastor of John Wesley AME Zion Church in Washington, D.C., and also a former member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees.
Livingstone College is a predominantly black institution that was founded in 1879 by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Concord, N.C. A few years later, Livingstone relocated to Salisbury, N.C., where it has remained since.
Livingstone, which has approximately 1,100 students, competes in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and is the reigning 2013-2014 CIAA men's basketball champion. The men's squad was also cited this year for having the highest GPA among all 12 member institutions. Additionally, Livingstone is a proud member of the United Negro College Fund, or UNCF.