Star-studded actress to speak at Kent State commencement


KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State University’s first university-wide commencement will get a touch of Hollywood as Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer speaks to graduates of the northeastern Ohio school.

Spencer recently starred as mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in the drama “Hidden Figures.” The film told the true story of several female African-American mathematicians at NASA key to the 1960’s era space race between the United States and Russia.

In a statement, Spencer says it is an honor to share her personal story at Kent State.

Spencer says she hopes her message “inspires others to dream big, never give up and pursue their passion despite the obstacles that might get in the way.”

The May 13 ceremony will be the first where all graduates from the eight-campus system are honored in one place.