A star is coming to Sacramento State to help pay celebrate scholars from traditionally underrepresented groups. And the public is invited to come rub elbows.
Actor Hill Harper, best known for his starring role on CSI: NY, will address Sac State scholars at the third annual DEGREES (Dedicated to Educating, Graduating, and Retaining Educational Equity Students) Project recognition ceremony from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, in the University Union Ballroom. Students, staff, faculty, and the public are invited.
Harper is the guest speaker at this year’s ceremony. As a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, Harper is a philanthropist for education and academic success for underserved youth. He has received honorary doctorates from several universities, including Westfield State College and Howard University, and is the author of four New York Times best-sellers.
Harper connects with the DEGREES Project as the founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, which provides mentorship and scholarship programs to students. His trip to Sac State also represents something of a homecoming for Harper, who is an alum of Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks.
“I’m excited to return to Sacramento. A wonderful city from where I graduated high school. A city that still maintains some smaller-town qualities,” says Harper, whose recent work includes co-starring in Sony Pictures’ Concussion and starring in USA Network’s Covert Affairs and the new CBS drama Limitless.
The DEGREES Project provides academic and student support services aimed at improving graduation rates for underrepresented minority students and serves as a comprehensive hub of support for the campus, says Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, associate vice president for Student Retention and Academic Success. Resources include advising services, leadership development opportunities, 24-hour online tutoring, internships, learning communities for freshmen and transfers, peer coaching, and mentorship campus-wide.
Harper’s appearance at Sac State coincides with that of CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, who visits campus the same day. CSU Executive Vice Chancellor Loren J. Blanchard also will speak briefly at the DEGREES event.
Photo by Patrick Giblin/CC Flickr