Kuykendall invites grads to be ‘merchants of hope’

Kuykendall invites grads to be ‘merchants of hope’

Nationally recognized educator and author Crystal Kuykendall served as the Graduate School of Education commencement speaker on June 2. Her charge to the 211 members of the graduating class of 2002 can be encapsulated in one word: hope.


“Hopelessness is one of the most pervasive illnesses in society,” said Kuykendall. “In today’s competitive society, individuals are encouraged to do all they can to improve and empower themselves. This is great; however, let us not forget that while there is much joy in personal accomplishment, there is commensurate joy in being of benefit and service to others who really need the good we have to offer.”


Kuykendall went on to share stories about her personal triumph over adversity and the “merchants of hope” who assisted her along the way.


Kuykendall, a native of Chicago, began her professional life as an elementary and secondary public school teacher. She went on to receive a doctorate in educational administration from Atlanta University and a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter named Kuykendall council chair for the National Advisory Council on Continuing Education. She is a former executive director of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the author of numerous books on education and leadership including the laudedFrom Rage to Hope: Strategies for Reclaiming Black and Hispanic Students, published in 1992.


School Counseling graduate Alicia Gonzalez, MEd ’02 was the student speaker.