Poet Trapeta Mayson named as commencement speaker


Photo credit/ Alexander Russellhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=graduation+cap&title=Special:MediaSearch&go=Go&type=image

Marywood invites poet laureate Trapeta Mayson, who represents the historic inclusion of Marywood’s campus, to speak at graduation.

The fifth Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, Trapeta Mayson, will be the graduation speaker for the Marywood Class of 2023.

Marywood’s President Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed. D., personally invited Mayson to speak at the commencement ceremony.

“While I was the Chair of the Board of an organization called PA Humanities, we, as an organization, inaugurated a ‘year of kindness’ and had many events that focused on that theme. We commissioned Ms. Mayson, who was the Poet Laureate of Philadelphia at the time, to compose a poem for the organization called ‘Kindness Lives Here.’ It was a beautiful piece that she personally presented to us in a board meeting,” explained Persico.

Mayson is a poet, social worker and teacher originally from Liberia, but she grew up in Philadelphia. Her works include “By The Roadside: For Liberian Survivors of War,” “Mocha Melodies” and “She Was Once Herself,” as well as a contribution to “The American Poetry Review.”

Mayson’s poetry centers around the experiences of living in Liberia during conflict, immigration to the United States, and the average lives of people, especially highlighting those of women and young girls.

Mayson is a graduate of both Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and Villanova University School of Business. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and a master’s degree in Social Services and Business.

Senior Multimedia Communications Film TV and Digital Production major Nevica Molinaro said she believes selecting Mayson was a great choice given her talents.

“I think she’s a super influential and talented woman, she has great poetry and she is very empowering,” said Molinaro.

Persico said she believes that Marywood supports a writer like Mayson and expressed her respect for Mayson’s work.

“I believe Ms. Mayson’s message will include an original piece of poetry. In addition, I believe her message will speak to the needs of the world today and how the kind of education we offer at Marywood will assist students to be leaders, thinkers, and doers in society. They will do so from a lens of particular values and a perspective that is all-inclusive of people throughout the world,” said Persico.

According to Marywood’s website, Mayson will receive an honorary doctorate at the ceremony.

Marywood’s 105th Commencement will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena on May 20 at 1 p.m.

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