Speakers Named for ASU's Two Spring Commencement Ceremonies

News Date

By Kenneth Mullinax 

Alabama State University is proud to announce that its two graduation speakers for its 299th Spring Commencement Convocation are both ASU alumni. The two separate ceremonies will be held on May 3, (Friday) at both 9:45 a.m. and at 2:45 p.m. in the ASU Dunn Oliver Acadome with a different speaker at each event.

The University's commencement speakers will be Brandon Hurst, one of America's youngest Chick-fil-A franchise owners (who will speak at the 9:45 a.m. event) and Mississippi State Representative Lataisha Jackson (D) who will speak at the 2:45 p.m. event.

Please note that a year ago, the University adopted a new structure for its Commencement Convocation to include two separate ceremonies.

In accordance with that structure, please see below for the details pertaining to both ceremonies, which are held on May 3.

Brandon Hurst graduated with a degree in accounting from Alabama State University. Immediately after graduating from ASU, Hurst accepted a position as director of Operations for Chick-fil-A in Chicago, IL.  He joined Chick-fil-A’s Leadership Development Program in Atlanta, GA, where he was responsible for partnering with franchise owners across the United States. In October, 2014, Hurst (at the age of 26), was selected to become a Chick-fil-A franchise owner, opening his first location in Baltimore, Maryland (the city’s first downtown location) in April of 2015. Hurst will speak at the 9:45 a.m. ceremony.

Representative Lataisha Jackson obtained her Bachelor’s degree in English Language Arts and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Alabama State University. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School Of Law. Jackson was sworn in to the Mississippi State House of Representatives in 2013. She serves as vice chairwoman of the Local and Private Legislation Committee, and serves on the Universities and Colleges; Public Property; Performance-Based Budgeting; Energy, and Agriculture Committees. Jackson will speak at the 2:45 p.m. ceremony.

For more information on both speakers, please see the attachments below.

Commencement Convocation Session I will be held on May 3, at 9:45 a.m. The following Colleges will participate in this session:

  • College of Education 
  • College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • University College
  • Levi Watkins Learning Center (Faculty)


Commencement Convocation Session II will be held on May 3, at 2:45 p.m. The following Colleges will participate in this session:

  • Percy J. Vaughn, Jr. College of Business Administration
  • College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • College of Health Sciences
  • Aerospace Studies
brandon h
Chick-fil-A Franchise Owner Brandon Hurst
Mississippi State Representative 
Lataisha Jackson








Note: Graduate degrees from the Harold Lloyd Murphy Graduate School will be awarded during both Convocations in accordance with the graduate degree offerings of each college.

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.