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U.S. Congresswoman Alma Adams to Give Clinton College’s 2023 Commencement Address

April 20, 2023

Clinton College announced today that Congresswoman Alma Adams will be the 2023 Commencement Speaker on May 6th in JW Martin Gymnasium.

“We are honored to welcome Congresswoman Alma Adams to our campus as we celebrate this major milestone in our students’ lives,” said Dr. McCorn, President of Clinton College. “Congresswoman Adams is a trailblazer and history-maker, who continues to fight for historically black colleges like Clinton College. Our graduates will be well-served hearing from her.”

Dr. Alma S. Adams was elected to her fifth full term representing the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina on November 3, 2022. After winning a special election in November 2014, Congresswoman Adams was sworn in immediately as the 100th woman elected to the 113th Congress.

Representative Adams has previously served on the Financial Services Committee, Joint Economic Committee and in several leadership, positions including Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus, Vice Chair of Agriculture, Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee, and ranking member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulation. The Congresswoman is a co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus with Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois, as well as the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus.

The Black Maternal Health Caucus works to reduce the unacceptable rates of mortality and morbidity for Black parents and has introduced the landmark Momnibus package in 2020 and 2021. The HBCU Caucus promotes bipartisan legislation that supports HBCUs and their graduates.

She is also a member of the Women’s Caucus, Diabetes Caucus, Autism Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Progressive Education Caucus, Historic Preservation Caucus, AIDS/HIV Caucus, Hunger Caucus, Medicaid Expansion Caucus, and the Art Caucus.

Throughout her career, Representative Adams has fought for a quality education for all students, including legislation to provide nutritious breakfasts in schools and increased pay for teachers. For 40 years, Dr. Adams taught Art at Bennett College. While at Bennett, she led the effort to increase student civic participation coining the phrase “Bennett Belles are Voting Belles” and organizing annual marches to the polls. As a former educator, Rep. Adams has dedicated her career to improving the lives of young people and her community. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the North Carolina A&T State University Human Rights Medal, the highest award presented by her alma mater to an individual who fights against social injustice and helps improve the world, and was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

Congresswoman Adams has one daughter, Linda Jeanelle Lindsay, one son Billy E. Adams II, and four grandchildren: Joslyn Lindsay, Aaron Lindsay, Billy E. Adams III, and Miracle Sumner. Adams graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1968 and received her master’s degree in art education in 1972. She earned her Ph.D. in Art Education and Multicultural Education from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1981.