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Birmingham (AL) Mayor Brother Randall L. Woodfin (Spring 2002) Delivers Summer Commencement Address


Birmingham native and the city’s 30th mayor, Randall L. Woodfin, served as Tuskegee University’s commencement speaker during its Summer Commencement Exercises earlier today, Friday, July 26, 2019.

In his commencement address, Brother Woodfin reminded the class of 2019 that:

"You are the continuation of a great legacy.

You follow giants who have shaped our world and their fields. Each of you graduates are a monument to greatness."

When sworn in on Nov. 28, 2017, Woodfin became Birmingham’s youngest mayor in more than 120 years. The 38-year-old is an attorney and former president of the Birmingham Board of Education.

Throughout his career, he has worked in various positions in municipal offices that included the Division of Youth Services, the Birmingham City Council, and the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, as well as assistant city attorney.

Above: Tuskegee President Lily D. McNair with Brother Woodfin

As mayor, Woodfin strives to bring a new vision, a new dedication and a new energy to the “Magic City.”

“I ran for mayor because I want to serve my city, the city that made me who I am,” Woodfin states on his campaign website. “I want to help Birmingham be everything it can be. I want Birmingham to be a place where every citizen has opportunities to work, to play, to learn, to grow, to develop their potential to its fullest.”

His dedication to his hometown and to others developed while working as a bagger at a Birmingham supermarket when he was 15. It was then that he learned the importance of “Putting People First,” a concept he carried into his days as a student at Morehouse College, then to law school, and finally into his public service career.

Above: Brother Woodfin (in 2016) at the Alpha Rho Chapter's 90th Anniversary Memorial Obelisk on the Atlanta, Georgia campus of Morehouse College

Born and raised in North Birmingham, Woodfin attended Shades Valley High School and Morehouse College, where he majored in political science and served as president of the Student Government Association. He went on to earn his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham.

The university’s July 26 Summer Commencement Ceremony was held in the University Chapel. The commencement processional began at 9:30 a.m., with the official ceremony beginning at 10 a.m.


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