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The 2019 Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Service Awards and Black Graduation

Annual service awards, alumni keynote and celebratory ceremony for 7C graduates

FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019 | 11am-2pm

Pomona College Seaver Theatre (300 E. Bonita Avenue, Claremont)

Black Graduation: Graduates must register by May 3, 2019

Registration for Graduates 

Graduates must register to attend the ceremony, in order to assist OBSA in planning and preparation. All degree programs and Claremont Colleges institutions are welcome.  If you plan to participate as a graduate, please complete the Black Graduation registration form no later than May 3, 2019.

Mandatory Dress Rehearsal on May 15

Graduates who plan to participate in Black Graduation should attend the dress rehearsal on Wednesday, May 15, 2-4pm at Seaver Theater (dress rehearsal typically does not exceed an hour). 

Kente Graduation Stoles 

Each graduate receives a free kente-patterned graduation stole courtesy of OBSA. These are distributed at the ceremony during the graduate check in time (Friday May 17 starting at 10am in the Allen Theater, next door to Seaver Theater). In order to receive a stole, graduates must be present for the ceremony, and may not pick up a stole before the ceremony. If you do not attend the event, you must arrange with OBSA to pick up your stole the following week (between May 20-24) by contacting Unfortunately, we cannot arrange to distribute stoles on Saturday or Sunday.

Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Service Awards: Nominations open through April 26, 2019

The Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Service awards recognize students, faculty and staff who have made a positive impact on the community. Students at all levels are nominated and recognized, so first years, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students of all years are encouraged to attend to celebrate their peers. The awards are presented before the graduation ceremony and keynote address. 

 Several categories are awarded based on nominations by community members. If you are a current student, faculty or staff member who would like to submit (a) nomination(s) for the Service Awards, please complete the Agnes Jackson Service Awards nomination form no later than April 26, 2019. You can make nominations in multiple categories on a single form.


Faculty and Staff Stage Seating: Sign up by May 10

If you are a current Claremont Colleges faculty or staff member who would like to sit onstage, please complete the faculty and staff stage seating registration form no later than May 10, 2019. Wearing regalia is encouraged but not required. You are encouraged to cheer on and greet students with whom you are familiar after they make their (optional) 30 second speech.  

General Seating

Seaver Theatre seats 335, and seating is first come, first served. The front rows are reserved for graduates, who procession to the stage following the keynote address. There is no reserved seating for anyone. The venue is wheelchair accessible, including designated seating areas.

2019 Black Graduation Keynote: Dr. Sheldon Logan, Harvey Mudd College Class of 2006

This year’s Black Graduation keynote will be delivered by Dr. Sheldon Logan, HMC ’06. Dr. Logan graduated from HMC with a BSc. in General Engineering with high distinctions. Currently, he is a Senior Software Engineer at Google LLC, working on storage (specifically health, security and performance of spinning media) within their Technical Infrastructure group.

Dr. Logan is a trustee of Harvey Mudd and actively mentors current HMC students. 

Read more about Dr. Logan in OBSA’s winter 2019 newsletter. 


SPECIAL OFFER: FREE Professional Headshots for Graduates. Photoshoots are Wed April 10, 4-6pm and Thurs April 11, 4-6pm in the OBSA Bungalow.

OBSA is offering free business headshots for graduates, helpful for building a professional identity. Register by email–provide your first and last name, institution, and inform about the date you wish you attend:

Both sessions occur in the OBSA Bungalow (139 E. 7th street, smaller structure behind the OBSA main building). Business attire recommended. Photos available 1 week after they are taken. 


What is Black Graduation?

OBSA hosts the annual Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Service Awards and Black Graduation together to commemorate the many contributions of students, faculty and staff and to celebrate students obtaining degrees from each of The Claremont Colleges (both the graduate and undergraduate institutions). The order of events for the day traditionally includes the OBSA Dean’s welcome address, the singing of the Black National Anthem, followed by the service awards, the alumni keynote, the graduation ceremony and the closing lunch reception. Claremont Colleges Black faculty and staff are invited to wear their regalia and register to be seated onstage to cheer on and support students during the ceremony.

During the ceremony, each graduate is welcome to make a brief speech to acknowledge those who supported them in their journey. The Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Service Awards and Black Graduation occurs on the Friday before graduation, so that graduates, their friends and family and the community at large can attend. It does NOT serve to replace each of the colleges’ graduation ceremonies, and students are encouraged to attend both Black Graduation and their college’s event. Degrees are not conferred at Black Graduation; however all graduates receive a congratulatory certificate from OBSA signed by the Dean and Assistant Dean.

Following the tradition of hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States, Black Graduation is a unifying, community centered event that provides a sense of belonging, particularly for students of African descent attending colleges where they are few in number. Black Graduation offers space for students and their families to express joy freely and in the spirit of love, inclusion and acknowledgment.