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Meharry president to address SUNO 2013 graduates

29th April 2013   ·   0 Comments

Yale, Tulane and Morehouse grad is New Orleans native

Dr. Wayne J. Riley, a native New Orleanian, advisor to President Barack Obama, and current president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee will deliver the Southern University at New Orleans commencement address on Saturday, May 11, at 4:00 p.m., when SUNO bestows degrees on the graduating class of 2013.

The ceremonies will take place at the Keifer Lakefront Arena.

“We are proud to have Dr. Riley address our graduates this year,” said SUNO Chancellor Dr. Victor Ukpolo. “His path to success as a native of New Orleans and his tremendous accomplishments in the field of medicine will no doubt be something that everyone in the audience can learn from and be inspired by.”

Dr. Wayne J. Riley was born and raised in New Orleans, where he graduated from Brother Martin High School. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, his master’s from Tulane University School of Health and Topical Medicine and his M.D. from the Morehouse School of Medicine. He served under former New Orleans Mayor Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial from 1981 to 1986 and was the youngest person in the city’s history to serve as the mayor’s assistant for intergovernmental relations. After embarking on his medical career, Dr. Riley became assistant dean at the Baylor College of Medicine in 2000. Over the next few years he spent his time serving the “indigent and uninsured” of Houston, Texas and surrounding areas. In 2007, Dr. Riley was named the president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, a historically Black medical school with more than 700 students. Meharry trains nearly one-quarter of all African-American physicians and dentists in the United States. In 2009 Dr. Riley was tapped by President Barack Obama’s transition team to lead the discussion regarding health disparities among minority populations.

Southern University at New Orleans is a four-year public institution founded in 1956, categorized as an SREB Four-Year 5 institution, a Carnegie Master’s College and University I, and as a SACSCOC Level III institution. Located in the Gentilly area, the University is an accredited liberal arts teaching institution. SUNO, known for its highly engaged faculty and academic support, offers a wide range of baccalaureate degrees including those from its nationally accredited School of Social Work (CSWE), College of Education and Human Development (NCATE) and College of Busi?ness and Public Administration, accredited by AACSB Inter?national. SUNO is also committed to graduate education through the master’s degree, offering graduate programs to meet regional and statewide needs. The University is a member of the Southern University System. For more information, visit

This article originally published in the April 29, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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