Baccalaureate: Rev. Calvin Butts
The Rev. Dr. Calvin O.
Butts, III, pastor of The Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York City, and
president of the SUNY College at Old Westbury, will be the keynote speaker
at the Baccalaureate Service on Sunday, May 21, according to University
President Judith Rodin.
The Baccalaureate will begin at 3 p.m. at Blanche P. Levy Park (College Green) preceded by a brass concert at 2:15 p.m.
Dr. Butts is known for his commitment both to the daily activities and
services of his congregation and the pervasive impact of the church on community
development initiatives, such as homelessness, senior citizen and youth
empowerment, cultural awareness and ecumenical outreach.
He was among the founders of Abyssinian Development Corporation, a comprehensive
community-based organization responsible for more than $100 million in housing
and commercial development in Harlem. He also has been instrumental in the
establishment of the Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change,
a public intermediate high school under the direction of the Abyssinian
Dr. Butts is president of the Council of Churches of the City of New
York and vice chairman of the board of directors of the United Way of New
York City. He is the chairman of the National Affiliate Development Initiative
of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, and he is a founding
member of the organization's board of commissioners.
Dr. Butts has served as president of Africare, New York, N.Y., and as
chairman of the board of the Harlem Branch YMCA.
Dr. Butts has been instrumental in the boycotts of several New York institutions
for their racist policies and employment discrimination. He has led an acclaimed
campaign to eliminate negative billboard advertising in Central Harlem and
other communities in New York City.
Dr. Butts also has been active in response to the issue of negative rap
lyrics targeted against women and violence.
A native of New York City, he received a bachelor's degree in philosophy
from Morehouse College. He earned a Master of Divinity degree in church
history from Union Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree
in church and public policy from Drew University. Dr. Butts is an adjunct
professor at the City College of New York, and also has taught Black church
history at Fordham University. He is a frequent speaker at colleges and
universities throughout America.
Dr. Butts has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the William
M. Moss Distinguished Brotherhood Award and the Louise Fisher Morris Humanitarian
. . . More About This Year's Baccalaureate
There has been unprecedented interest in the Baccalaureate Service on
Sunday, May 21, and we want to accommodate the hundreds of graduating
students, their parents and friends, who wish to participate in the program.
Therefore, we have moved Baccalaureate from Irvine Auditorium, which has
limited seating, to Blanche P. Levy Park (College Green), which will enable
us to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend.
We hope you will join us on College Green for the Baccalaureate Service
at 3 p.m., and also the preceding concert at 2:15 p.m.
In the event of rain, the program will be held in the Palestra, located
on 33rd Street just north of Franklin Field, from 4 to 5 p.m.
--Rosemary McManus, Secretary of the University