ST. PETERSBURG – Melissa Harris-Perry, a political science professor and host of an MSNBC TV show, will be the speaker for the 51st Eckerd College commencement on Sunday, May 18.
Harris-Perry, author of “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America,” is the aunt of graduating Eckerd senior Christina Smith. The Melissa Harris-Perry news and opinion show airs on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon.
Harris-Perry will return to her alma mater, Wake Forest University, as professor of Politics and International Affairs on July 1. She has been named a presidential chair, an endowed position that recognizes and supports exceptional faculty who embody Wake Forest’s teacher-scholar ideas. Harris-Perry was a faculty member at Tulane University since 2011.
She previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University.
“In an era characterized by impoverished political discourse, Dr. Harris-Perry, through her show, has created a forum for probing many of the vexing political and social issues facing our nation,” said Donald Eastman, Eckerd president, in a press release.
“I’m honored to address the 2014 graduating class of Eckerd College,” Perry said. “My own beloved niece is among the graduates as was her older sister in 2011. Eckerd is truly part of our family now.”
Eckerd has a tradition of inviting respected leaders in their fields. The speakers are not paid. During the ceremony Harris-Perry will receive an honorary degree from Eckerd.