Dr. Edison Jackson participated in his first Bethune-Cookman University graduation on Dec. 8 during the school’s first fall graduation in 20 years. Jackson oversaw the graduation of more than 130 students.
The interim president said he decided to bring back fall commencement at the request of the students and faculty.
During the commencement, the university bestowed honorary degrees upon Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr., presiding bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church; and Michelle Carter-Scott, alumna, philanthropist and community leader.
$20 in diplomas
Emeritus Board of Trustee member Lee Rhyant was the commencement speaker. In each of the diplomas presented to grads was a $20 bill from Rhyant in memory of his mother who scraped together money for her son 40 years ago, which included a $20 bill, after she learned her son’s clothes had been stolen.
He shared with the students that his mom put the money in an envelope as a graduation present to Rhyant so he could buy some new clothes.
Aside from being the name on the university’s recently built $6 million Lee Rhyant Residential Life Center, he is a retired executive for Lockheed-Martin and Rolls-Royce Aerospace.