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INDIANAPOLIS – Martin University will hold its 55th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 12 o’clock noon in the Father Boniface Hardin Gathertorium at 2186 North Sherman Drive.

During the commencement, 26 undergraduate students will receive bachelor’s degrees in assorted fields, such as Criminal Justice, Addictions Counseling, and Business Administration; 11 will be awarded master’s degrees in Community Psychology and Organizational Leadership. In addition, honorary doctorates will be conferred to community leaders Toby Malichi and Carolene Mays.

“We are excited to recognize our graduates and their outstanding accomplishments, knowing each one has a specific story of hard work and overcoming challenges to reach this special day for them and their families,” said Dr. Sean Huddleston, President of Martin University. “We are also pleased to honor Toby Malichi and Carolene Mays, who have contributed greatly to our city, state, and world.”

Toby Malichi is the Founding Executive Chairman and Global Head of Development, Investment, & Diplomacy at Malichi Group Worldwide, LLC, which has operated in more than 70 countries for over 42 years. The company’s multilateral deal-making, impact, and solution-oriented style has enabled the company to unlock trillions of dollars in trade for which Malichi has been recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (former board member). He is serving in his seventh consecutive White House Administration appointment as a board leader and trade advisor, making him the longest-serving African-American in that role. He can uniquely engage with worldwide foreign business and government leaders. Malichi is a founding life member and governance executive committee head for the African Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC, and was the first Black Vice Chairman of the Board for the Indiana District Export Council (a U.S. Commerce Secretary appointee). He is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., whose catchphrase is: “Have a Successful Day and Think Globally!”

Carolene Mays is President & CEO of Black Leadership + Legacies, Inc. and Inspiring Leadership, LLC, which she established in 2021 by leveraging an outstanding career in corporate business, elected positions, governmental agency leadership, utility regulation, and television. She is also the Creator & Host of Community Link, WISH-TV. Previously, she was executive director of the White River State Park Development Commission, where she secured and oversaw the construction of an amphitheater that revitalized downtown Indianapolis. She is a former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissioner and served three terms in the Indiana House of Representatives, during which she was honored as Legislator of the Year. She has received numerous awards and is active in organizations including Heartland Church, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and Indianapolis Chapter of the Links, Inc. Driven by faith and resilience, her passion for inspirational speaking stems from personal experiences, including surviving a violent marriage in the 90s and overcoming a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2016, an event deemed a medical miracle.

Founded in 1977, Martin University is Indiana's only Predominantly Black Institution (PBI) of higher education. It is steeped in a history of service, and its mission is to educate and develop diverse workforce-ready students in an inclusive, supportive, and collegiate environment. Martin University's vision is to elevate the landscape while providing transformative opportunities, inclusive support, and service to our communities.

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