CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) held a diploma pick up on Friday.
University leaders said they couldn’t have students wait any longer to get their degrees, so they created this special day.
“Black degrees matter during this time,” JCSU registrar Keisha Wilson said. “For many of them, some of them never saw themselves getting a degree. They work. They have had children.”
Wilson, who planned, said that about 100 graduates came Friday for the diploma pick-up celebration.
She said there are 271 graduates in the JCSU Class of 2020.
“It’s a dream deferred, not denied,” Wilson said. “I am grateful to God that they were able to finish, and sometimes, just the esteem that you accomplished something.”
Graduates said they are prepared to put their education to work and are ready to make an impact.
“I definitely feel like your degree is not only for you,” JCSU Graduate Anaijah Robinson said. “It’s for everybody else and who you can impact. I am going into mental health and marriage and family counseling, so I think that is really big in the community and the world.”
Robinson said she watched former President Barack Obama when he was the speaker for the HBCU virtual graduation a few weeks ago. She said his speech motivated her to be a change agent.
“I was just so pleased and so happy that we have so much encouragement in a president that is still willing to impact us,” Robinson said. “Spread inspiration and it just gives me hope for the future.”
University President Clarence Armbrister believes with all that is happening in the world - the graduates are needed more than ever.
“This is the generation that will ultimately solve our problems,” Armbrister said." This is the generation that’s going to make a lot of these bad issues go away."
JCSU is planning to have regular graduation for students in the fall during Homecoming.