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GSU President Cheryl Green to serve as honorary Grand Marshal for the 93rd Annual Bud Billiken Parade


As the bright colors of summer begin to fold into the muted hues of fall, nature whispers that it’s time for back to school— and the Bud Billiken Parade.

This year, Governors State University President Cheryl Green, who hails from the south side of Chicago, will serve as an honorary Grand Marshal at the legendary back-to-school event.

Celebrating 93 years this year, the Bud Billiken Parade is the largest African American parade in the United States, and serves to highlight Black culture while connecting the community to resources that promote education and empowerment. This year’s theme is the Power of Bud Billiken 365, promoting year-round youth programming.

Dr. Green, a native of the South Side, grew up attending the historic parade and said she’s proud to serve as an honorary Grand Marshal.

“What a thrill to join the legacy of the Bud Billiken Parade and Chicago Defender Charities, which empowers the Black community through education, a cause very near and dear to my heart.” Dr. Green said in accepting the honor during a recent scholarship gala.

There, Dr. Green presented GSU Elementary Education major Summer Thurmond with a $2,500 scholarship.

“Summer is one of our brightest stars at Governors State University. She is passionate about educating our youth and studies their brain development. Summer is also a gifted dancer and an Honors student. I could not be more proud to present this Jaguar gem with the Chicago Defender Charities Scholarship.”

The Bud Billiken parade, a South Side tradition, will feature Chicago’s finest marching bands, dance groups, drill teams, and celebrities including Chicago’s very own award-winning, Grammy-nominated R&B singer and producer, Jeremih, who will serve as the Grand Marshal for this year’s parade and festival.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and other dignitaries will also participate in parade festivities.

The parade will start at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 13, at 39th street and Martin Luther King Drive, with Jeremih, and the honorary Grand Marshals leading the two-mile parade procession south on King Drive, going through Washington Park, and ending at Garfield Boulevard.