Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to deliver Washington University Commencement speech


ST. LOUIS– NBA great and social justice advocate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will give the commencement speech at Washington University this May. It will be a recorded video made in advance to accommodate the multiple ceremonies that are planned due to COVID.

The university says it is planning to host 8 ceremonies on Francis Olympic Field instead of the traditional university-wide ceremony in Brookings Quadrangle.

There will only be a maximum of 500 graduates at each in-person ceremony, with two guests allowed per graduate.

There will be large screens set up to show the speech from Abdul-Jabbar.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, author, the highest-scoring NBA player of all time, social justice advocate.

Mr. Abdul-Jabbar has used his platform to address racial justice and social equity issues everywhere,” Chancellor Andrew D. Martin said. “He has demonstrated his commitment to improving others’ lives not just through his influential words, but through such actions as establishing a foundation that works with underserved communities, helping kids reach their full potential.

The university will award Abdul-Jabbar an honorary doctor of humanities degree during its 160th Commencement.

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