Cheryl Harris and Vashti McKenzie


Black PR Wire

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The first female and 117th bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Vashti McKenzie and alumna and Allstate Insurance Executive Cheryl Harris addressed Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) fall 2017 graduates.

Approximately 630 FAMU graduates were cheered on by family, friends, faculty, staff, alumni and other guests during two ceremonies.

Harris spoke on Friday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., at the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. McKenzie delivered her message in the Lawson Center on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 9 a.m.

Described as an “electrifying preacher,” McKenzie’s historic election in 2000 was the first time in the A.M.E. Church’s 213-year history that a woman had obtained the level of Episcopal office.

McKenzie is an author, documentary producer and the presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District.

Harris is a graduate of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry and serves on the FAMU Foundation Board of Directors. She oversees Allstate’s Supplier Diversity Program and was recently named one of Black Enterprise’s “Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” in 2017.

On Dec. 15, the following schools and colleges conferred degrees upon 274 graduates:

• FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
• School of Allied Health
• School of Architecture and Engineering Technology
• School of Business and Industry
• School of the Environment
• School of Nursing
• School of Journalism & Graphic Communication On Dec. 16, the following colleges conferred degrees upon 357 graduates:
• College of Agriculture and Food Sciences
• College of Education
• College of Law
• College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• College of Science and Technology
• College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities