Virginia State University President to Congratulate a Special Graduate…His Daughter
Published date: December 14, 2018
During this time of year, universities celebrate with all of the pomp and circumstance to congratulate their graduates on accomplishing one of life’s major achievement, earning a college degree. On December 15, Virginia State University (VSU) President Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D. will shake the hands of more than 300 graduates as they embark on their new journey. One graduate holds a very special place in the President and First Lady Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah’s heart, their daughter, Sefiyetu. At age 19, Sefiyetu will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications with honors, summa cum laude.
“I am always honored and excited to celebrate our graduates on earning their academic degree from Virginia State University,” VSU President Abdullah said. “This commencement I probably will be a little more ecstatic because our baby girl is graduating. It is such a great feeling for parents to watch their child walk across a commencement stage to receive his or her degree. I will have the privilege of presenting the degree to our daughter with a handshake and a great big hug and kiss.”
Sefiyetu and her brother, Mikaili, 20, who will graduate from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with honors, magna cum laude, in May 2019, may have learned how to excel academically from their family. At the age of 24, President Abdullah earned his Ph.D. in engineering and to this day is still the youngest person to do so. First Lady Cobb-Abdullah, Ph.D. serves as a professor of ecology and environmental science at Virginia Union University in Richmond.
The VSU Class of 2018 will receive words of encouragement from their commencement speaker, VSU alumna Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016. On Sunday, June 5, 2016, Barber was crowned the first Miss USA to currently serve in the United States military. She spent her year-long reign as Miss USA partnering with and lending her voice to the organizations such as the USO, Smile Train, Best Buddies, Operation Homefront and numerous others.
Barber has a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from VSU and then went on to complete her Master of Science degree in computer information systems and services at the University of Maryland University College. She has worked as an IT analyst in the United States Government for more than five years being employed by agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, Department of the Navy and lastly the Department of Commerce. Captain Deshauna Barber is a logistics commander in the United States Army Reserve.
The commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in VSU’s Multipurpose Center. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for the general public with the procession beginning promptly at 9:30 a.m.