John Legend will deliver Duke University's commencement speech this year

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021
John Legend to speak at Duke graduation this year
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John Legend will return to Duke to speak to its 2021 graduates and to receive an honorary degree.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- John Legend will be the keynote commencement speaker for Duke University in 2021. He will also receive an honorary degree from the university.

Legend is a superstar singer, songwriter, actor and producer with countless accolades including being the first Black man to achieve the EGOT distinction--by earning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.

"We are thrilled to have John Legend serve as our speaker at undergraduate commencement-and to have such an extraordinary group of honorary degree recipients, each of whom have made transformational contributions to our understanding of the world," Duke University President Vincent Price said. "I know that their example will excite and inspire our graduates, and I look forward to welcoming them on May 2."

The other honorary degree recipients at Duke this year include attorney and civil rights leader Barbara Arnwine; Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Professor Jacquelyn Campbell; Harvard University Professor of History and of African and African American Studies Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham; and former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency William K. Reilly.

SEE ALSO | Russell Wilson to give Spring 2021 NC State commencement address

As for Legend, it will be his first return to Duke since he performed on campus with Kanye West during the 2004 Last Day of Classes concert.

Commencement will take place May 2 in Wallace Wade Stadium. Due to COVID-19 it will only be open to graduating undergraduate students and their pre-registered guests.

However, the entire ceremony will be streamed live at this link.