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Tyler Perry to deliver Emory Commencement address
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Elaine Justice

View a special message from Tyler Perry, who will deliver the keynote address at Emory’s May 9 Commencement ceremony.

World-renowned cinematic innovator Tyler Perry will deliver the keynote address at Emory University’s 177th Commencement ceremony, scheduled for Monday, May 9, on the Emory Quadrangle. Perry will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree.

“Tyler Perry is a visionary creative force — writing, directing, producing and performing in plays, films and TV shows that move, entertain and inspire,” says Emory President Gregory L. Fenves. “Equally impressive are his endeavors as a philanthropist, humanitarian and social justice advocate. Whether funding scholarships for talented students, covering the grocery bills of elderly Atlanta residents, or supporting global disaster relief, he is renowned for creating opportunities and giving back to his community.”  

Born and raised in New Orleans, Perry is a world-renowned producer, director, actor, screenwriter, playwright, author, songwriter and entrepreneur. He is the mastermind behind 17 feature films, 20 stage plays, seven television shows, and a New York Times bestselling book. 

In 2006, Perry founded Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, and in 2015 he announced plans to expand operations with the acquisition of Fort McPherson. The studio, which had its opening gala in 2019 and encompasses more than 300 acres, is one of the largest production facilities in the country and home to the production of more than 15 films and 800 episodes of Perry’s five television series. The studio has brought more than 400 jobs to the Atlanta community as well as major feature films and television shows. 

Perry is known for his wide-ranging philanthropic work, both personally and through the Perry Foundation. Founded by Perry in 2006, the foundation aims to empower people who are economically disadvantaged to achieve a better quality of life. The foundation’s focus includes health and clean water, education and technology, arts and culture, and globally sustainable economic development.

Among his many accolades, Perry is the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2021 Oscars, the Governor’s Award at the 2020 Emmy Awards, and the People’s Champion of 2020 at the People’s Choice Awards. 

Graduates gather on the Quad

Graduates from all of Emory University’s nine schools will gather together on the Quad for Commencement for the first time since 2019 and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Honorary degree recipients 

Emory will confer honorary degrees on two additional individuals at the Commencement ceremony:

Louise R. Glenn of Atlanta is a founding trustee of The Wilbur & Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, where she helps lead the foundation’s work on cancer research, civil and human rights, and health and wellness. Her many years of dedicated community volunteer work include service at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute, where she was a founding member of the Board of Advisors. The Glenn Family Breast Center, Winship’s first named center for a specific type of cancer, was established in 2013 through gifts from the foundation.

Sally Q. Yates of Atlanta is a former acting U.S. attorney general and former U.S. deputy attorney general. During her nearly three decades at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Yates was responsible for all of DOJ’s 113,000 employees, all U.S. Attorney’s offices and the Bureau of Prisons, and was instrumental in setting DOJ’s enforcement priorities and initiatives. She has served as lead prosecutor in high-profile criminal cases, including the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. Yates currently is a partner in King & Spalding’s Special Matters & Government Investigations practice.

Emory University Commencement Ceremony

Monday, May 9, 8:30 a.m.
In person | Emory Quadrangle

The Emory University Commencement Ceremony on the Quadrangle is a ticketed event for all 2022 graduates and their guests. Graduating students will receive information about registration and guests' tickets via email. The event will also be livestreamed.

Visit the Commencement website for the full Commencement weekend schedule, information about planning your visit, answers to frequently asked questions, and more.

View the Commencement website

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