Spring 2010 commencement has the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and Tony Award winner as speakers

One of America’s top military leaders and a Tony Award winning actress, who are both Florida A&M alumni, will share words of inspiration with the 1,266 students expected to graduate during the spring commencement on Saturday.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be the keynote speaker at the 9 a.m. ceremony in the Alfred Lawson Gymnasium. During the morning ceremony, students following the College of Pharmacy, College of Education, College of Engineering Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Business and Industry and School of Nursing will graduate.

For the first ceremony, the doors open at 8 a.m. Graduates arrive at 7:30 a.m., and the line of march will commence at 8:30 a.m.

Mullen was appointed the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2007. In that role, he is the top military adviser to the president, the secretary of defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. During his military career, he commanded three ships. His last operational assignment was as commander, NATO Joint Force Command Naples/Commander U.S Naval Forces Europe.

Tony Award winner and FAMU alumna, Anika Noni Rose will be the keynote speaker for the 2 p.m. commencement. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, College of Law, School of Journalism and Graphic Communication and Environmental Sciences will graduate during this ceremony.

Rose received her bachelor’s from the FAMU theatre department and later earned her MFA in drama from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Calif. Since then, she has won numerous accolades for her work on the stage, including a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the Broadway show, “Caroline or Change,” the Theatre World Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress.

In 2006, Rose starred in “Dreamgirls” as Lorrell Robinson. Her career includes notable performances on television and in film. Her role in Disney’s latest animated feature “The Princess and the Frog,” makes her the first black-animated princess, Tiana. The movie recently received three Oscar Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award nomination for the best-animated feature.

“We are immensely proud of her and all of her accomplishments in the visual and performing arts. I am sure that she will inspire graduates to excel in their fields of study,” President James Ammons said in statement. ” She is a graduate who has tested un-chartered waters and excelled.”

The line of march for the second ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. Graduates are to arrive at 12:30 p.m. and doors will open at 1 p.m.