Sheryl Lee Ralph is known as a passionate soul who dwells in the arena of arts. Apart from acting, and singing a talent of the brilliant Emmy Winner is motivating her audience through powerful speeches that they are more than enough with a palate for greatness.
Sheryl Lee Ralph delivered that said authentic spirit spreading words of encouragement at the commencement speech for the class of 2023 at Rutgers University, which took place on Mother’s Day.
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Ralph was the college’s youngest female graduate when she received her diploma in the year 1975. She added, “In the fall of 1972, I became one of 400 teenage women chosen to form the first freshman class of women to break the gender barrier and usher co-education.”
Ralph remarked, “I could have just imagined what it was like when you all first came here to the campus as freshmen,” she then added, “I mean, everything just looked so rosy and bright.”
Ralph who played Dee Mitchell in the 90’s TV show Moesha noted, “Then, our country and the world took a tragic and difficult turn.” She added, “Kobe died, George Floyd was killed, and then the world stopped and everything changed when COVID-19 … shut down the world. But you, you stayed the course, you never gave up, you found your way, you kept on studying, you kept doing the work. And you are here on graduation day!”
The graduating class was also urged by the speaker to look in the mirror each day and “love what you see,” because “the better you can be to yourself, the better you can be to everyone else.”
The actress who received her Emmy Award for best supporting actress in Abbott Elementary a comedy sitcom continued by advising the grads to “find your joy.”
She said in a firm voice, one to remember, “Hold on to it. Wrap yourselves in it. Live in it, because that is the key to a happy life.”
Jonathan Holloway, the president of Rutgers University, also presented Ralph with an honorary doctor of fine arts degree at the event. In a subsequent tweet, the actress said, “So let me reintroduce myself, I am The Honorable, Dr. Sheryl Lee Ralph OJ.”