Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Students Organizing Black Graduate Photo On Old Main Steps

A Penn State graduation photo of a different sort will be held this Sunday on the Old Main steps. A black graduates picture will be taken on May 3 at 1 p.m. to celebrate the black graduates and remember a time when black students were banned from institutions of higher education.

In an e-mail, Penn State’s president for its chapter of the National Council of Negro Women, Sheryl Edmondson, invited all black graduates to join the picture.

“In honor of the plethora of Black students at Penn State that will be graduating this semester we would like to invite you all (graduating seniors) to take a group photo with your fellow grads and faculty and staff members,” it reads.

According to Edmonson, the idea came from senior Terrell Finner after a GroupMe conversation regarding the lack of a commencement ceremony specifically for black graduates despite the fact that they exist at other universities.

“It’s an opportunity for us to express our solidarity and exude such a positive image in light of all the negative media attention that blacks are consistently given,” she said. “The photo sort of reshapes the narrative of who we are as a people and what we can obtain.”

The students chose Old Main after Finner proposed the classic backdrop which, she said, represents a time when blacks weren’t allowed at the university.

“I am attending this event because I believe that it is important to highlight the black students here that are graduating, especially since there are so very few of us,” she explained. “In addition, I feel as though it is a great opportunity for all of us seniors to celebrate with one another particularly because there are so many separate commencement ceremonies.”

Attendees should have their cap and gown for the photo and are urged to arrive promptly.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]

Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Brandilyn

Penn State Love Stories 2015-16: Part 9

This week’s love stories follows a few long-distance relationships that overcame the odds thanks to true love.

The Life And Death Of The Penn State Elms

Penn State Love Stories 2015-16: Part 8

OS Cribs: Pollock Supplemental Turned TikTok Famous

One supplemental dorm in Pollock found recent TikTok fame for its elaborate setup, moody vibes, and unbelievable space.

OS Cribs: Pollock Supplemental Turned TikTok Famous

One supplemental dorm in Pollock found recent TikTok fame for its elaborate setup, moody vibes, and unbelievable space.

Report: Penn State Hoops Offers Mike Rhoades Head Coaching Position

Penn State reportedly offered VCU head coach Mike Rhoades an annual salary upward of $3 million.

Notre Dame Hoops’ Social Media Trailer Ironically Characterizes Micah Shrewsberry’s Happy Valley Departure

The Fighting Irish’s social media team used Notre Dame football and a Penn State hoops mantra to promote the beginning of Shrewsberry’s tenure.