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Loni Love Steps in as Commencement Speaker

Two-time Emmy, two-time NAACP Image and four-time Gracie Award-winning host, comedian, actor, author, and philanthropist Loni Love has graciously agreed to deliver the keynote address at the Norfolk State University Commencement ceremony. Commencement is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, December 9, 2023, at Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall on the NSU campus.

Earlier this month, the University announced that Emmy Award-winning actor, producer, best-selling author and philanthropist Sheryl Lee Ralph would address the graduates. However, with the end of the entertainment writers’ strike, Ralph has been called back to work.

Norfolk State extends sincere gratitude to Ralph for graciously accepting our invitation. Additionally, we express heartfelt appreciation to Love for generously agreeing to step into the role of commencement speaker.

As a talk show host, Love is known for her dynamic ability to provide in-depth, meaningful conversation with a hint of levity. She has interviewed newsmakers and top A-List entertainers such as Vice President Kamala Harris, former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Barack Obama, Idris Elba, Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Lopez, Tracee Ellis Ross and more.

Love, a versatile host with a rich portfolio, brings her vibrant energy to various platforms. As a co-host of the GRACIE Award-winning weekend radio show Café Mocha, she plays a pivotal role in the only nationally syndicated show of its kind created by women of color. Love took the solo helm as the host for the Daytime Emmys in the categories of Children’s, Lifestyle, and Animations. Notably, she led a highly rated interview with Salt-N-Pepa after the release of the Lifetime movie about these iconic entertainers. Adding to her list of accomplishments, Loni Love became the first new narrator for the 13th season of Bridezillas on WETV.

Love is the Executive Producer of Little Women Unfiltered: Atlanta—an after-show for Little Women: Atlanta, season six, and she co-executive produced the Telly Award-winning Saluting Our Culture series dedicated to honoring different women, men, and organizations across the United States.

She has appeared in many movies, including those starring actors Kevin James, Kevin Hart, Danny Glover, Danny Trejo and Ethan Hawke.

A proud ally for the LGBTQ+ community, Love holds the 2022 WOWIE award for Best Queen Comedian and has served as keynote speaker for Vision Cathedral’s Convention, advocating inclusion for all. She was a proud representative for the 2022 West Hollywood Pride Parade for Project Angel Food. She is now the cohost of Squirrel Friends, the official RuPaul Drag Race podcast.

Love is the subject of the documentary Being Loni Love, which traces her life story from her early days as a latchkey daughter growing up in Detroit’s Brewster-Douglas housing projects to national stand-up comedian and successful host/actor. Author (Love Him or Leave Him but Don’t Get Stuck with the Tab) came out in 2013), stand-up comedian, theatre actor, film star, television host, roving reporter, and part-time aunt—Loni Love has no plans to slow down.