President of MSNBC and Hampton University Alumna Rashida Jones is scheduled to deliver the commencement speech at her Alma Mater on May 9th, 2021.
Jones graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Arts in 2002 and went on to have a prestigious career in the journalism industry, which started at WKTR in Norfolk, Virginia. She then worked for the Weather Channel as an Executive Producer and later, the Director of Live Programming. Jones worked as a news director at WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina before moving to New York City to start her work at MSNBC as an executive producer for daytime shows. She went on to work essential roles with the company including Managing Editor, Senior Vice President for Specials, and even leading breaking news coverage at NBC News and MSNBC. On February 1, Jones succeeded longtime network President Phil Griffin to become President of MSNBC and the first African American executive to lead a major TV news network.
Rashida Jones is not the only African American female HBCU graduate that made history this year. Florida A&M university alumni Kim Godwin has been named new president of ABC news, making her the first African American woman to lead a major broadcast news network. Godwin is coming from CBS news where she served as Executive Director for Development and Diversity, Senior Broadcast Producer of CBS News, and Executive Vice President of News.
Hampton University President William R. Harvey was ecstatic to announce Jones as the keynote speaker for this year’s commencement. “Her address will truly be well-received on this historic day. Not only will we recognize our graduates, but this ceremony will also recognize Hampton University taking another major step towards returning to normalcy since the beginning of the pandemic. Ms. Rashida Jones’ Star is among the brightest in her field. She will inspire and enlighten our graduates as they prepare to make their own historical marks on the world.” said Harvey about Jones and her success.
Rashida Jones was inducted into the Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications Hall of Fame in 2019.