Patricia Russell–McCloud will be Bennett College’s Commencement Day speaker on Saturday, May 4 at 10:30 a.m. Held on the quadrangle of the campus, the ceremony will recognize more than 130 graduates from the Class of 2013. The event is free and open to the public.
With more than 20 years of experience in professional speaking, Russell-McCloud is recognized as one of the nation’s most animated and engaging orators of our time. Captivating and motivating audiences is a specialty that has led to annually speaking to more than 200,000 people during engagements for both public and private organizations. Some of her clients include AARP, AT&T, Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, General Motors, American Honda, McDonald’s and the United States Postal Service.
Russell-McCloud’s extensive career has yielded various honors, including more than 300 keys to American cities. She has served as the 11th National President of The Links, Inc., and the National Parliamentarian to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She has been named as one of the top five business motivators in the country by Black Enterprise Magazine; identified as one of the top 10 speakers in America; and has been featured in Essence and Ebony magazines as one of the most influential people in the United States.
Prior to embarking on a successful speaking career, Russell-McCloud was an attorney with the Federal Communications Commission for 10 years. As a member of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO), she studied at Harvard University.
She earned her Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law.
A resident of Atlanta, the orator is married to Bishop E. Earl McCloud Jr., the 127th elected and consecrated bishop of the A.M.E. Church in Cape Town, South Africa.
During the ceremony, Bennett will award Russell-McCloud with an Honorary Doctorate. Rev. Dr. William Barber II, a renowned civil rights leader and presidentof the North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), will be the guest speaker for Bennett’s annual Baccalaureate service on Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. in the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel.
The Baccalaureate service is a religious convocation that precedes the Commencement Exercise. This event is also free and open to the public.