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Monday, May 16, 2022


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Acclaimed journalist chosen as 2016 commencement speaker

<p>Jeff Perry and Tony Goldwyn with Charlayne Hunter-Gault at the 73rd Peabody awards. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.</p>

Jeff Perry and Tony Goldwyn with Charlayne Hunter-Gault at the 73rd Peabody awards. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, an Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist, will be the commencement speaker this year, University of Richmond communications announced. Commencement will be held on May 8 in the Robins Center for undergraduates receiving degrees from the School of Arts and Sciences, Robins School of Business and Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

University communications also announced that John Fernandez, former CEO of Daystar Desserts will address the MBA ceremony on May 7 in the Ukrop Auditorium of Queally Hall. James Comey, the director of the FBI, will speak at the School of Law Commencement on May 7 in the Robins Center.

Hunter-Gualt has worked at several media outlets including PBS, NPR, CNN and The New Yorker. She is the author of four books, including “Corrective Rape,” a book about violence against gay women in South Africa. Hunter-Gualt has over three dozen honorary degrees and is on the boards of The Committee to Protect Journalists, the Carter Center, the Peabody Board and Digital Promise Global.

Fernandez has been involved in the Richmond MBA program for years by giving students the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to real world issues. He was the founder and former CEO of Daystar Desserts, which is a manufacturer of upscale desserts and cheesecakes across the country.

Comey was an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law. President Barack Obama nominated Comey for the position of director of the FBI, and he was sworn in to office in September 2013. His prior experience includes positions as the deputy attorney general as well as a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the managing assistant U.S. attorney for the Richmond Division of the Eastern District of Virginia.

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies will announce the commencement speaker on April 15. It’s a tradition that a graduating student, a faculty member and an alumnus will speak at the ceremony.

Contact news writer Megan Healy at

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