Bakari Sellers to deliver Commencement Address at Paine College

April 6, 2019

Bakari Sellers, CNN Political Commentator, will deliver the Paine College commencement address. The event will begin 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, May 5th in the HEAL Complex located at 1255 Druid Park Avenue, Augusta, Georgia. Doors will close for the Procession at 8:45 a.m. The Commencement Convocation is open to the public.

"We are pleased that Bakari Sellers will address the 2019 graduating class," said President Jerry L. Hardee. Bakari Sellers has emerged as the ‘voice' for his generation. We are certain that his message will inspire our graduating seniors as they embark upon their career paths and lives." During Paine's Commencement weekend of activities, Alumni will celebrate classes ending in 4s and 9s. Of special note, the Golden Class of 1969 will celebrate its 50th anniversary. This year, the College will dedicate the Commencement Convocation to the Paine High School graduates. The Class of 1944 is the last class to have graduated under the Paine High School. Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2014 he was the Democratic Nominee for Lt. Governor in the state of South Carolina. Earning his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, where he served as student body president, and his law degree from the University of South Carolina, Sellers has followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, in his tireless commitment to service. He champions progressive policies to address issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and childhood obesity. He has an impressive list of accomplishments having served on President Barack Obama's South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election. Widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party, coupled with his uncommon ability to reach across the aisle and get things done, has led to numerous accolades including being named to TIME Magazine's 40 Under 40 in 2010. He was listed in the 2014 and 2015 editions of "The Root 100" of the nation's most influential African-Americans. Notably, he served as a featured speaker at events for the National Education Association, College Democrats of America National Convention, and for the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions. Sellers practices law with the Strom Law Firm, LLC in Columbia, SC. He is married to Dr. Ellen Rucker-Sellers. For more information, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at (706) 821-8323, or visit Paine at

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