Dr. Tricia Rose, Hip-Hop Scholar and Author, to Deliver Lincoln University Commencement Address

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LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. – Dr. Tricia Rose, an internationally respected scholar of post-Civil Rights era Black U.S. culture, will deliver the commencement address at Lincoln University’s 163rd commencement later this month.

The Class of 2022 will be celebrated at a graduation ceremony on the campus at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 15. More than 450 graduates will be honored. Both Rose and the Honorable Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste, MHS ’84, the founder, owner and CEO of DeBaptiste Funeral Homes and Milestone Events, LLC—who has served the Chester County community for more than 67 years—will also receive honorary doctor of humane letters degrees.

“In these challenging times, Dr. Tricia Rose’s insights into Black popular culture and issues related to race in America, structural inequality, social justice, and gender and sexuality are essential reading for all of us, including our students,” said President Brenda A. Allen.  “Every day, Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste continues to be a shining example to our students of how just one compassionate, dedicated person can make an incredible difference in the lives of our community and the larger world around us.”

About Tricia Rose

Raised in Harlem and the Bronx in New York City, Dr. Tricia Rose is currently the Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies and the director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University, where she earned her Ph.D. in American Studies. Her award-winning, groundbreaking 1995 book on the emergence of hip hop culture, “Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America,” is considered hip hop’s foundational text.

She is also the author of a powerful 2003 oral narrative history of Black women’s sexual life stories, “Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy,” and her 2008 hip hop follow-up, “The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip-Hop—and Why It Matters.”

A recipient of scholarly fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and American Association of University Women, Rose has been featured on PBS, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and other national and local media outlets.

About Clifford E. DeBaptiste

Elected as the first African American mayor of West Chester in 1993, he served two terms and, in 1999, led the yearlong celebration of West Chester’s bicentennial. He has also distinguished himself as a civic and business leader—including serving 13 terms as chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors; president of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association; and, for 37 years, on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Chester County/Tower Bank for 35 years.

His awards include the 1984 Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the West Chester Chamber of Commerce; the 2011 Multicultural Leadership Award from the Frederick Douglass Institute; the 2014 Leon Sullivan Award from OIC of Chester County; and a Founders Award from the Chester County Historical Society.

As a trustee of West Chester State University—which granted him an honorary doctorate of law degree in 1999—DeBaptiste advocated for diversity programs and enhanced student opportunities. Nine years ago, the university opened its DeBaptiste Plaza with the unveiling of a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Meet Lincoln University’s Class of 2022. For more information, visit the Commencement website. Lincoln University’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds will have images and stories about the weekend’s activities.

Media: All members are required to inform the Office of Communications & Public Relations in advance for access to the ceremony and dignitaries for interviews. Please contact the Office of Communications at communications@lincoln.edu or 484-365-7427.


Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world. Lincoln offers a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse student body of approximately 2,200 men and women in more than 35 undergraduate and graduate programs.