Powell keynote speaker at Livingstone’s Winter Commencement Friday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2016

By K.E. Washington
Livingstone College News Service

SALISBURY — A bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church who’s known for delivering dynamic speeches will give the keynote address at Livingstone College’s Winter Commencement on Friday.

Bishop Staccato Powell, presiding prelate of the Western Episcopal District, former pastor of Grace AME Zion Church in Raleigh and a member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees, will speak at the ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. in Varick Auditorium. About 45 students are expected to graduate. The public is invited.

“We are delighted to have a man of Bishop Powell’s stature deliver the keynote address for our Winter Commencement,” said Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr. “I have heard Dr. Powell speak on numerous occasions and know he will impart some sage advice to our graduating students. Friday marks the fourth time Livingstone has held a Winter Commencement ceremony, and I look forward to it each and every year.

“Although the graduating class will be smaller than what we have during our Spring Commencement in May, there will be just as much excitement among the graduates and their parents.

“That’s because from Dr. Carolyn Wilkerson Duncan, vice president for academic affairs, to Registrar Wendy Jackson and everyone else involved, a lot of hard work goes into making the ceremony special. And for the parents, what could be more special than having their sons and daughters graduate just days before Christmas?”

Powell, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a master of divinity degree from Duke University and a doctorate of jurisprudence degree from N.C. Central University, said he’s excited about delivering Friday’s keynote address.

“I am extremely elated to have the singular privilege to be the 2016 Winter Commencement speaker at the chief educational institution of our beloved Zion,” Powell said.

“As a recently consecrated episcopate, it is humbling to have been asked by Livingstone’s 12th President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., who is an educator par excellence and has done a stellar job for the last decade. I congratulate the students and their parents on this momentous occasion.”

Powell is no stranger to public speaking. He served as pastor of Grace AME Zion Church for 12 years until he was elected to the episcopacy of the AME Zion Church during the denomination’s 50th Quadrennial Conference, held in July in Greensboro. Additionally, Powell has also been asked to speak at various functions throughout his career.