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89th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Source: Lester Cohen / Getty

Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer will be the keynote speaker for Kent State University’s first university-wide commencement on May 13.

Spencer received Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for her most recent role as mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in the drama “Hidden Figures.” She previously won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, British Academy of Film and Television Arts and Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film “The Help.”

“I am looking forward to take part in Kent State’s first university-wide Commencement ceremony,” Spencer said in a statement. “It’s an honor for me to share my personal story of perseverance and hard work. I hope my message inspires others to dream big, never give up and pursue their passion despite the obstacles that might get in the way.”

The ceremony kicks off at 10 a.m. in Dix Stadium, and it will mark the first time all graduates from the eight-campus system are honored in one place.

“Commencement is among the most important events in the lives of our students and families,” said Kent State President Beverly Warren. “We are delighted that this inaugural One University Commencement will feature the compelling story of Octavia Spencer, whose meaningful voice and inspiring example are sure to be a highlight of this momentous ceremony.”

No diplomas will be handed out at the ceremony, and the event could be shortened or suspended depending on the weather.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Spencer told the audience gathered for a screening of her latest film “Gifted” that she’s not attracted to roles, she’s attracted to “projects.”

She also had an empowering message for girls:

“[‘Gifted’] was exploring an unconventional family, and the center of everything is a genius little girl,” Spencer said. “I think little girls need to hear that they have something to offer other than being pretty. That really spoke to me. I’m attracted to projects as a whole. My role could be anywhere from one line to a million lines.”



Article Courtesy of EURweb

Picture Courtesy of Lester Cohen and Getty Images

Octavia Spencer to Speak at Kent State University Commencement in May was originally published on

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