Baltimore— Morgan State University (MSU) President David K. Wilson announced that April D. Ryan, White House correspondent; CNN political analyst; and Washington, D.C. bureau chief for TheGrio will serve as the keynote speaker for the 8th Fall Commencement Exercises at the National Treasure.
Ryan, a celebrated and widely respected journalist, and proud Morgan alumna, returns to alma mater to deliver a message of inspiration before more than 500 anticipated graduates, members of the faculty, University officials and guests on Friday, December 17, 2021, at Talmadge L. Hill Field House. Ryan last participated in a Morgan Commencement in 2017, during the University’s sesquicentennial year, where she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
The occasion marks a welcomed return to an in-person Fall Commencement ceremony at Morgan following the previous year’s pandemic-deferred exercises. Graduates being honored—those receiving undergraduate as well as master’s and doctoral degrees—will receive four tickets for guests and all those in attendance will be required to wear masks and adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols during events.
“April Ryan is uniquely positioned to deliver an inspiring and uplifting message to our graduates in a way that very few others in this era can do and in a manner that is both highly relatable and equally captivating,” said President Wilson. “She has had a front-row seat in observing the challenges to our democracy and the social awakening this country tumultuously navigated to crescendo effect with the murder of George Floyd. Ms. Ryan has been a conscientious purveyor of this land’s most cherished freedoms—holding true to the tenets of ‘a free media’ and serving the people with a virtuous pen.”
One of the nation’s prominent and most distinguished veteran journalists, Ryan has cemented her brand as a political commentator amid a teeming landscape of traditional, print, broadcast and digital media. She is a 1989 graduate of Morgan State University and Baltimore native who began her career as News Director at Baltimore’s beloved WXYV-FM, “V-103.”
As a White House Correspondent under five U.S. presidents, Ryan has a unique vantage point as the only Black woman reporter covering urban issues affording her unusual insight into the racial sensitivities, issues and attendant political struggles of the nation’s Executive Office. These insights and experiences have formed building blocks for Ryan’s advocacy and engagement. She gives back to the community by serving as a mentor to aspiring journalists and assisting with developing “up and coming” broadcasters.
“Ms. Ryan has lived the Morgan experience and is the embodiment of Morgan Made. Our graduates will be well served, hearing from this celebrated Morgan alumna at this poignant time,” added Dr. Wilson.