Graduation is an academic milestone that many students look forward to. With the commencement just around the corner, Ohio State will celebrate graduating students of African descent and their accomplishments at the university with the annual Afrikan American Farewell Celebration on Saturday.
The celebration began 27 years ago by the National Pan-Hellenic Council and is now also sponsored by the Frank W. Hale, Jr. Black Cultural Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Student Life and the Student Life Multicultural Center.
Hunter Hartwig, NPHC adviser, said the celebration is for all graduating black and African American students, including those graduating in the spring and summer and those who already graduated in the fall semester.
AAFC recognizes students graduating in all levels — doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s — for students who chose to participate, Hartwig said.
Based on those who have registered for the celebration, Hartwig said this one of the largest AAFC Ohio State has seen, with more than 230 attendees already registered along with more than 200 students participating the ceremony.
“It’s definitely the largest celebration of its kind in central Ohio,” Hartwig said.
Each year, AAFC has a keynote speaker who is typically an alumnus of the university, Hartwig said. This year, the speaker will be William F. Pickard, Ph.D. graduate from Ohio State and chairman of the Global Automotive Alliance.
Hartwig said every participant will receive a copy of Pickard’s book, “Millionaire Moves: Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship.
But to many students who participate in AAFC, it’s about more than getting an award, Hartwig said.
“I think it’s important to the students at Ohio State and to the university because we get to recognize all the accomplishments black and African American students have accomplished while in school,” he said.
One of the awards is the Impact Award, which recognizes students accomplishments through leadership and academics, Hartwig said.
“We also recognize faculty and staff who have made an amazing contribution to the black and African American community here on campus.”