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Donna Brazile and Lucille O'Neal Receive Honorary Doctorate Degrees

Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) will have nearly 350 new alumni this Saturday after they walk across the Ocean Center stage (101 N. Atlantic Ave.).  The spring commencement ceremony is expected to be full of family and friends who are there to not only support their graduates, but also listen to a dynamic keynote from Donna Brazile, political strategist and analyst.   The graduates will also witness B-CU graduate and trustee, Lucille O’Neal, receive her doctorate degree from her alma mater.  Donna Brazile will also receive an honorary doctorate from B-CU.   Commencement begins at 12 noon and does require a ticket for entry. 

Lucille O’Neal will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. O’Neal graduated from B-CU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Organizationl Management at the University of Phoenix.  She is the author of “Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go,” which touches on her years of spiritual unrest and mental welfare and shares her struggles and disappointments against the backdrop of her sweetest memories and proudest accomplishments.   O’Neal opened the Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity on the campus of B-CU in honor of her late mother, Odessa Chambliss.  The centers’ activities focus on health disparities, social determinants of health, and social justice.

Donna Brazile, who will receive the Doctor of Laws degree, has lectured at more than 150 colleges and universities across the country.  She is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, a syndicated newspaper columnist for Universal Uclick, a columnist for Ms. Magazine, and O, The Oprah Magazine, an on-air contributor to CNN, and ABC, where she regularly appears on the Sunday morning show This Week. In August 2009, O, The Oprah Magazine chose Ms. Brazile as one of its 20 “remarkable visionaries” for the magazine’s first-ever O Power List. In addition, Brazile was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women byWashingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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