Malcolm Jenkins to Deliver Commencement Address for School District of Philadelphia’s Virtual Graduation Ceremony
The School District of Philadelphia is pleased to announce that National Football League All-Pro Malcolm Jenkins will deliver the commencement address during the District’s virtual graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 9. The event, which will feature remarks from Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D. and Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney, will be streamed live via the District’s website and be aired on the District’s television station PSTV via Comcast Xfinity (Channel 52), and Verizon Fios (Channel 20) beginning at 11 a.m.
Jenkins, whose six-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles ended this year, is now back with the New Orleans Saints, the team that drafted him in the first round, out of The Ohio State University in 2009. The Pro Bowl safety has established himself as one of the best at his position, but his work off the field and commitment to community are two reasons the District and the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia believe Jenkins is the ideal person to speak to the graduating seniors from District, alternative education and charter schools. In addition to his work advocating for social justice, the star athlete is very involved with community engagement and charitable work in several cities across the country through The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation.
“We are so proud of all of our graduates. They have displayed incredible resilience the past few months as so many circumstances outside of their control dictated how they would end their senior year of high school,” said Superintendent Hite. “These students deserve to be celebrated in a special way, so I’m especially grateful to Malcolm Jenkins for agreeing to serve as our commencement speaker. We’re looking forward to honoring this outstanding group of students as they embark on this next chapter after high school.”
The District decided to hold a virtual graduation due to stay-at-home orders limiting large in-person gatherings to stem the spread of COVID-19. The District and the Fund, working with local partners such as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, are coordinating several activities to recognize and celebrate the nearly 13,000 members of the Class of 2020. The famed Philadelphia Orchestra is providing a pre-recorded performance of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No. 1 during the virtual graduation ceremony and the Kimmel Center is the official host of the virtual graduation afterparty, which will feature music by Philadelphia native DJ Aktive and a performance by R&B group Good Girl among others. The District is also running a social media campaign featuring well-wishes from the likes of Grammy Award winner and Philadelphia High School for Girls graduate Jill Scott, DJ Diplo and Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McCleod. In addition to the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, 2020 Graduation partners include the Free Library of Philadelphia and Comcast.
“We’re very excited to help recognize the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 and celebrate this great milestone moment with them,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, president and CEO of the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. “We understand that this is a difficult time for seniors and their families, so we’re pleased to do what we can to let them know just how proud we are of them and how excited we are for what lies ahead in their next chapters.”
For more information on the District’s Class of 2020 recognition activities, please visit www.philasd.org/2020grad/.