University Park, IL,
21:06 PM

Commencement Student Speakers Announced

Classes of 2020 and 2021 to be Celebrated

Governors State University is celebrating graduates from both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 in virtual celebrations next month.

A year after the global pandemic forced a delayed Commencement, 2020 graduate Daj’za Mitchell will deliver the Commencement speech to her classmates on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

Daj’za earned her Bachelor of Health Science in Communication Disorders degree in 2020 and is now in graduate school.

As a junior, Daj’za earned the GSU Promise Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship awarded to select students coming to Governors State through the Dual Degree Program. (DDP). She then dedicated her time at GSU to working as a student transition assistant position with DDP. She also received the Global Scholar Scholarship, which covered the cost of service-learning abroad trips, allowing Mitchell to accompany GSU on the global brigade to Panama to assist with legal services by providing advice to Panama citizens with the assistance of translators.

In her speech, she will challenge classmates to overcome their Imposter Syndrome to reach their full potential.

“I am beyond excited and humbled to deliver this speech to the class of 2020. We are such a special group of students who have graduated under some of the most unconventional circumstances. With that, it is with deep honor that I deliver the 2020 Student Commencement Speech.”

J. Latrice Koger has been selected to address her 2021 classmates during commencement on May 22, 2021.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Latrice, who received a full ride DDP Honors scholarship, excelled in academics at Governors State. Her training in the U.S. Army provided a solid foundation to launch her.

Latrice was named the 2020 Student Illinois Lincoln Laureate for her contributions to the “betterment of humanity and for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.” At Governors State, she served as treasurer for the Black Student Union, president of the Psychology Club, vice president of Psi Chi International Honors Society, and is a member of the Student Disability Services Advisory Committee. She was a student representative to the Illinois Board of Higher Education Board of Trustees before being named to the university’s Board of Trustees.

In her speech, Latrice looks forward to the future for her and her classmates––one not marred with a global pandemic and racial injustice.

“I am extremely proud to have been chosen to deliver the Commencement address to GSU’s incredible 2021 graduating class. Just two weeks ago, I had surgery for COVID-19 complications, and now I’m ready to share my blessings as a member of the Governors State community. I am humbled by this opportunity.”