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Angela Bassett Tapped to Receive Honorary Doctorate From HBCU Morehouse College

On May 19 the 135th commencement exercises for the historically Black school Morehouse College in Atlanta will take place, and Angela Bassett will be given an honorary degree on that day.

Black Enterprise reports the actress will receive an honorary doctorate of the arts for her dedication to “leadership, service, and excellence” as well as for setting the “bar high for women in Hollywood.”

After the New York-born actress received a bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies and a master of fine arts from Yale University, she had her breakout role as Reva Deveraux in John Singleton‘s 1991 classic “Boyz n the Hood.”

From there, Bassett wowed audiences with her performance in the 1992 film Malcolm X, where she played Betty Shabazz. She also received an Oscar nomination in 1994 for playing Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”

Other big screen successes for Bassett include “Waiting to Exhale,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “Akeelah and the Bee,” as well as “Notorious” and “Black Panther.” Today, she’s one of the stars and producers of the Fox series “9-1-1.”

The founder, chairman & CEO of Vista Equity Partners Robert F. Smith will also be honored at the commencement ceremony and given an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Smith, who’ll give the keynote address at the graduation, donated $1.5 million to Morehouse in January for a new outdoor study area on the campus, and he also created the Robert Frederick Smith Scholars Program for disadvantaged students.

Smith also reportedly is the largest private donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

Smith and Bassett will be honored as more than 300 scholars receive degrees at Morehouse’s commencement.

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