Willimantic, Conn. – Internationally acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ’01, who was named this past month by Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” will receive an honorary doctorate and bring greetings to the graduates at Eastern Connecticut State University’s 125th Commencement exercises tonight at the XL Center in Hartford. We cordially invite you to attend and cover the Commencement.

A total of 1,200 Eastern undergraduate and graduate students will be receiving their degrees this evening. Adichie’s honorary degree ceremony will take place prior to graduates receiving their diplomas.

Adichie graduated summa cum laude from Eastern in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. She subsequently earned a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University. After publishing her first two books, she studied at Yale University and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in African History.

In 2004, Eastern presented Adichie its Distinguished Alumni Award. During the 2005-06 academic year, Adichie was awarded a fellowship at Princeton University, following which she received a fellowship to study at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University. In 2008, she was awarded a Macarthur Fellowship, popularly known around the world as the Macarthur Genius Award.

Adichie is the author of a collection of short stories, “The Thing Around Your Neck,” and three novels. Her first novel, “Purple Hibiscus,” won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Her second novel, “Half of a Yellow Sun, won the Orange Prize—the world’s top prize for female writers—and was also a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and a People and Black Issues Book Review Best Book of the Year.

Her latest novel, “Americanah,” was published around the world in 2013. It has received many accolades, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and recognition as one of The New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year in 2013.

If you have any questions during the Commencement ceremony, call Ed Osborn at (860) 558-7285.
Eastern Connecticut State University is the state of Connecticut’s public liberal arts university, serving more than 5,300 students annually at its Willimantic campus and satellite locations. In addition to attracting students from 164 of Connecticut’s 169 towns, Eastern also draws students from 24 other states and 50 other countries. A residential campus offering 40 majors and 56 minors, Eastern offers students a strong liberal art foundation grounded in an array of applied learning opportunities. Ranked in the top 30 public universities in the North Region, by U.S. News and World Report in its 2015 Best College ratings, Eastern has also been awarded “Green Campus” status by the U.S. Green Building Council six years in a row. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.