U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III will be the keynote speaker at Florida A&M University’s in person commencement ceremony this month, according to the university.
Austin, a Mobile native, will join three other speakers at FAMU’s first in-person commencement ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The ceremony, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on April 24, will feature students from the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, according to a news release.
He will also officiate at the commissioning ceremony for FAMU’s largest Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) graduating class in decades, according to the release.
“Florida A&M University is honored to have Secretary Austin address our graduates. His life and career have been an inspiration to us all,” President Larry Robinson said in the release.
Austin became the first Black person to lead the Pentagon as secretary of defense back in December, after being selected for the position by President Biden.
He was born in Mobile in 1953 and rose through the ranks to command troops in combat in Panama and Operation Iraqi Freedom, among others, after he began his U.S. Army career in 1975.
Austin also holds a master’s in counselor education from Auburn University, according to the release.