Nine-time Grammy Award winner John Legend C’99 has been selected to deliver the University’s 258th Commencement address on May 19. The “multi-platinum soul sensation,” as NPR described him, is also renowned for his social-justice work. In 2007 he founded the Show Me Campaign, which works to break the cycle of poverty by promoting high-quality educational opportunities in the United States and Africa.
Legend’s philanthropy has been recognized with the 2009 CARE Humanitarian Award for Global Change, Africare’s 2009 Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, and the 2010 BET Humanitarian of the Year award.
Legend graduated from Penn in 1999 with a degree in English and a concentration in African-American literature and culture. He was the president and musical director of the University’s co-ed jazz a cappella group, Counterparts.