News & Announcements

Marcia Fudge, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to speak at CSU Commencement

CLEVELAND (April 2, 2021) – Cleveland State University (CSU) has announced that alumna Marcia L. Fudge, the newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will be the speaker at the university’s afternoon commencement ceremony on May 15 at Progressive Field. CSU President Harlan Sands will speak at the university’s morning ceremony.

Secretary Fudge, a life-long Clevelander and graduate of CSU’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, served as U.S. Representative for the 11th Congressional District of Ohio for over 12 years before being confirmed as Secretary in March. She is the first CSU alumni to serve as a cabinet secretary.

“It’s an absolute honor to be among the first to hear from our new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,” said CSU President Harlan Sands. “She is an outstanding role model and a wonderful example of how far you can go with a CSU degree. She has a powerful, inspirational story to share with our graduates.”

CSU will confer nearly 2,500 degrees at two ceremonies to allow for appropriate social distancing among guests. Commencement for the College of Sciences and Health Professions, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, and the School of Nursing will be held at 9 a.m. The 1 p.m. ceremony will include the Washkewicz College of Engineering, College of Education and Human Services, Monte Ahuja College of Business, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

The ceremonies will follow all SAFE at Progressive protocols.

Secretary Fudge has had a long-distinguished career serving the people of Northeast Ohio. In 1999, she was the first woman and first African American to be elected mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, a position she held for two terms. She began her public service career in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, rising to the rank of Director of Budget and Finance.

A Cleveland native and graduate of Shaker Heights High School, she earned her law degree from CSU’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree by the college in 2014. She was also inducted as an inaugural member of Cleveland-Marshall’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

For more information on Spring 2021 Commencement, visit