What to Expect

Each graduate will cross the stage to receive a letter of congratulations. Our ceremony is a moving, wonderful experience; we are sure you will want to be there with your family and friends.

About CUNY BA’s Commencement Speaker 


Funlayo E. Wood, PhD, - CUNY BA Commencement Speaker

Funlayo E. Wood, PhD, is a scholar of African and Diasporic religions, activist, and entrepreneur. A native New Yorker, Dr. Wood is a proud three-time CUNY alum, having earned an Associate of Arts in Psychology from Bronx Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in the African Diaspora in the Americas from the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique & Interdisciplinary Studies, and a Master of Arts in History from the City College of New York where she was a graduate fellow at the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service (now the Colin Powell School Civic and Global Leadership). She recently earned her doctorate in African and African American Studies and the Study of Religion at Harvard University.

A strong proponent of public intellectualism, Dr. Wood is a frequent radio guest and public lecturer, and has lent her voice to documentaries including PBS’s Sacred Journeys: Osun-Osogbo and the National Geographic Channel’s The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. Her work has been published in varied outlets including the Journal of Africana Religions, Crosscurrents, the Review of Religious Research and on the popular religion blog State of Formation.

Dr. Wood is the founding director of the African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association [hds.harvard.edu], serves as the Executive Director of the Orisa Community Development Corporation, and is a trained peace and nonviolence facilitator with Creating a Culture of Peace. Complementing her academic life, Dr. Wood is an orisa priestess, motivational blogger and speaker, and workshop facilitator. She is the creator of the positive-thinking webspace Ase Ire and of the Orisa-Focal (TM) Guided Meditation Technique, a form of guided meditation that uses concepts and imagery from the Ifa-Orisa tradition.

About CUNY BA’s Student Speaker:

Michael Clark - Student Speaker

Michael Clark is graduating with areas of concentration in Human Rights/Community Health under the mentorship of Professor Christian Grov of CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and Professor Lawrence Moss, of Hunter College.

His hard work dedication and commitment earned him the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, during the fall 2016-2017 academic semester where he studied abroad in Uganda. He is a recent recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Kenya in Public Health. Michael has earned several CUNY BA Scholarships, including the Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship.