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RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and to lead a top-ranked research university, will serve as the featured speaker at the 96th annual commencement for The College of Saint Rose on May 11 at the Times Union Center.

She will also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters from Saint Rose.


Dr. Jackson, who became the first woman and first African-American president of RPI in 1999, will speak about her groundbreaking journey in the field of science and her rise to leadership as both a woman and a person of color. Her distinguished career includes senior leadership positions in academia, government, industry, and research. Time Magazine has called her “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science.”

Read more about Dr. Jackson here.