TU announces Beverly Daniel Tatum as Commencement speaker

By Ray Feldmann on April 5, 2018

Nationally recognized thought leader in race relations and higher education to deliver spring Commencement address 

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, has been selected as Towson University’s commencement speaker this May.
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, has been selected as Towson University’s commencement speaker this May.

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., a best-selling author and president emerita of Spelman College, will deliver Towson University’s 2018 spring Commencement address.

“We are honored to welcome Beverly Daniel Tatum to campus as our commencement speaker,” said TU President Kim Schatzel. “Not only is she a thought leader in the higher education community, her expertise in diversity, inclusion and race relations supports Towson University’s relentless pursuits in these areas.”

In addition to serving as TU’s commencement speaker, Tatum will receive an honorary doctorate degree.

Tatum’s 13 years as the president of Spelman College between 2002 and 2015 were marked by innovation and growth, and her visionary leadership was recognized in 2013 with the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award.

“I am honored to have been invited to serve as Towson University’s commencement speaker,” Tatum said. “I look forward to sharing this important celebration of achievement with the graduates and their families.”

The author of several books—including the best-selling Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race, and Can We Talk about Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation—Tatum is a sought-after speaker on the topics of racial identity development, race and education; strategies for creating inclusive campus environments; and higher education leadership.

In 2005, Tatum was awarded the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education for her innovative leadership in the field.  A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, she was the 2014 recipient of the APA Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. 

A civic leader in the Atlanta community, Tatum is engaged in educational initiatives designed to expand educational opportunity for underserved students and their families. She serves on the governing boards of the Westside Future Fund, Achieve Atlanta, Morehouse College and Smith College, as well as the Georgia Power Company and the Educational Testing Service.

Tatum holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan as well as an M.A. in religious studies from Hartford Seminary.  Over the course of her career, she has served as a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Westfield State University and Mount Holyoke College. Prior to her appointment as president of Spelman, she served as dean and acting president at Mount Holyoke.

Tatum will make her remarks and receive her honorary doctorate during the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) commencement ceremony on May 23, 2018 at 3 p.m.