Jimmie Allen, left, and Willis Lonzer will be the keynote speakers at DSU's May 12 graduation ceremonies.

Jimmie Allen, Willis Lonzer to speak at DSU graduations

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Education

Jimmie Allen, left, and Willis Lonzer will be the keynote speakers at DSU's May 12 graduation ceremonies.

Jimmie Allen, left, and Willis Lonzer will be the keynote speakers at DSU’s May 12 graduation ceremonies.

Country music star and Delaware native Jimmie Allen will be the keynote speaker for Delaware State University’s 2023 undergraduate commencement in May.

Dr. Willis Lonzer, a 1990 graduate of DSU with more than two decades of work in global medical affairs and global pharmaceutical research and development, will be the keynote speaker for the History Black College and University’s graduate commencement.

Tickets are restricted to graduates and their families/guests and to current DSU students.

The 37-year-old Allen grew up in Milton and attended DSU from 2004 to 2006 before leaving to pursue a music career in Nashville. 

His debut studio album “Mercury Lane” was released in 2018 with singles “Best Shot” and “Make Me Want To” going platinum while landing at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country Music Airplay chart.

Allen’s following has grown to more than 3.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

He was nominated for best new artist at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards after winning  New Artist of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards and New Male Artist of the Year at the American Country Music Awards in 2021. 

The undergraduate ceremony will be held May 12 at 8 a.m. in DSU’s 7,000-seat Alumni Stadium. 

“Delaware State University is where I am proud to say I attended.” Allen said in a statement. “I met lifetime friends there and learned so much about who I am as a Black man, and navigating my way through life.”

RELATED STORY: DSU rises to No. 2 public HBCU in college rankings

Later on the 12th, DSU’s graduate ceremony will take place at the Tubman/Laws Courtyard.

Since attending DSU, Lonzer has been a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the oldest Black Greek-lettered fraternity in the world, dating back to 1906. It has more than 900 chapters and 290,000 members across the globe.

Lonzer has served as the international president of the organization since Jan. 1, 2021. 

“Personally, socially and even professionally, the benefits of my involvement in campus life have also been richly rewarded as I honed my leadership, social and professional networking skills that have served me very well, ” Lonzer said in a statement. 

Tickets are required for each person attending the graduation ceremonies, including children. They are free and will be distributed May 2-6 at the Memorial Hall Gymnasium ticket office. 

Students must bring IDs to get theirs. Students participating in the undergraduate ceremony will receive 10 guest tickets. Those participating in the graduate ceremony will receive six.

More information about DSU’s commencement ceremonies can be found here. 

Share this Post