North Carolina’s Saint Augustine’s University is set to give music executive Kevin “Coach K” Lee and civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump honorary doctorate degrees during the institution’s 2021 commencement ceremony.
To be held on Saturday, May 1, this graduation will be for both the Classes of 2020 and 2021, held in person at the George Williams Athletic Complex, have Raleigh City Manager Marchell Adams David serving as the keynote speaker and will be the university’s 90th baccalaureate exercise in its 154-year history.
The combined-class graduation is a result of all of 2020’s scholastic activities being interrupted and postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Perhaps that’s why the HBCU, founded in 1867 by Episcopal clergy to educate recently freed enslaved Africans, wanted to make this occasion super special.
After all, Ben Crump is perhaps one of the most foremost figures in America’s current wave of social justice advocacy.
Over the last decade, this member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has come to represent and fight for the families of people wronged by systemic racism like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, as well as the residents of Flint, Michigan.
He also represented 9 of the 13 Black women rape and victimized by the Holtzclaw Oklahoma City Police rape in 2015 and contributed to the 2008 “precedent-setting” U.S. Supreme Court Robbie Tolan case that centered around extreme police-involved violence and their use of force.
The Quality Control founder, Coach K, is just as impressive.
Just consider that some of your favorite artists he discovered, groomed, and put on. Shout out to Migos, Lil Baby, City Girls, and Lil Yachty.
But what is most extraordinary is that in addition to him receiving his honorary doctorate, he is also receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management from the school.
Back in 1992, he was admitted to SAU as a basketball student-athlete. A tragic injury stopped his matriculation temporarily.
Thanks to the SAU’s Gateway Program for adult learners, he completed his degree and will walk with the 2020 class.
Congrats to the Class of 2020 (including Coach K), Class of 2021, the university, and everyone celebrating this great achievement (virtually or in-person).