2020 JSU graduate delivers keynote address to his own class one year later

Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 7:49 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hundreds of graduates filled Veterans Memorial Stadium for the first in-person commencement ceremony since the pandemic began.

Friday and Saturday, Jackson State University celebrated the graduates of 2021, 2020, and even 1971 with what they’re calling a Golden Diploma class.

Excited students with huge smiles sporting their caps and gowns walked across the stage with pride as they received their degrees.

Friday, Dr. Errick Greene, superintendent of Jackson Public Schools, took to the stage, and Saturday morning, U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson delivered the keynote address.

Saturday evening, Jordan Jefferson, a 2020 JSU graduate, addressed his own 2020 class as the official speaker.

Now pursuing a master’s degree at Harvard University, Jefferson wore many hats at JSU as a political science major, wide receiver on the football team, student body president, and a Rhodes Scholar finalist.

Due to the pandemic, Jefferson received his diploma by mail, but Saturday, before his keynote address, he finally got a chance to walk across the stage.

“I’m super grateful because the university didn’t have to do this, but they made it happen, and I’m very appreciative,” Jefferson said. “I’m humbled to say I walked across the stage instead of - I got my degree in the mail. It didn’t happen how I wanted to, but it happened how it was supposed to happen.”

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