Tag: graduation

Mr. Marc J. Spears, Senior NBA writer for ESPN’s Andscape


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Langston University Office of Public Relations

LANGSTON, Okla. – President Kent J. Smith, Jr. announced on Monday that Mr. Marc J. Spears, Senior NBA writer for ESPN’s Andscape, will serve as the distinguished speaker for the 123rd Commencement of Langston University on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., in the W.E. Anderson Stadium.

Marc J. Spears, an award-winning sportswriter, began his journalism career in 1995. He has covered the NBA since 1999, including over 20 NBA All-Star Games and NBA Finals. Spears has been writing for Andscape (formerly The Undefeated) since its inception in 2016. Andscape is a Black-led media platform dedicated to creating, highlighting, and uplifting the diverse stories of Black identity. Magnified by the power and reach of The Walt Disney Co., the Andscape umbrella includes an editorial division, book publishing arm, film and television division, and music publishing group, each united by the shared mission of illuminating the culture and experience of Blackness. Founded in 2022, Andscape is a reimagination, expansion and diversification of The Undefeated’s former platform.

Prior to Andscape, Spears worked for Yahoo! Sports (2009-16) as a senior NBA reporter (2009-16), The Boston Globe (2007-09) covering the NBA, the Boston Celtics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics; and The Denver Post where he covered the NBA and the Denver Nuggets. His earlier newspaper work began in Oklahoma at the Tulsa World and included stints with the Los Angeles Daily News and the Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, where he covered college football and basketball as well as Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball.

Spears regularly contributes to several ESPN television platforms, including the award-winning “Outside the Lines” and “E:60”, “NBA Today,” “SportsCenter,” “SC Featured,” ESPN Radio programs, and more. Spears co-wrote “The Spencer Haywood Rule,” a novel recognized by The New York Times. Moreover, the award-winning journalist also co-produced a documentary entitled “Katrina Cop in the Superdome,” which can be viewed on several streaming services. The long-time member of the National Association of Black Journalists is also a former chair of the NABJ Sports Task Force which represents the organization’s sports journalists. Spears’ career has taken him to India, Sweden, China, England, France, Monaco, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, The Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and Italy. He has also been the host of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s press conference three times.

Spears was recently honored as a 2023 recipient of the Naismith Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award in recognition for his writing. The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s media award is named in honor of Curt Gowdy, who served as president of the Hall of Fame for seven consecutive terms. The award was established to recognize members of the electronic and print media for outstanding contributions to basketball.

Spears played college basketball at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA, the University of the District of Columbia, an HBCU in Washington, D.C., and was a redshirt at San Jose State University before a knee injury prematurely ended his playing days. The San Francisco Bay Area native earned a master’s degree in sports business management from Louisiana State University, a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from San Jose State University, and an associate of arts degree from Foothill College.


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University announced that Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be this year’s distinguished guest speaker at the Commencement Ceremony. This year’s ceremony is set to be held in person at the W.E. Anderson Stadium on the Langston campus on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 10:00 AM.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Bronaugh to campus for this special occasion. She is a champion for our country’s rural communities, families, farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers,” said Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. “Her work with the USDA is game-changing. Most recently, she worked on a $1 billion investment that will transform rural areas across the country. This initiative will help strengthen access to health care for those who reside in those communities.”

The USDA has supported a broad range of research and extension programs over the years within the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. The most notable is their support of the E Kika De La Garza American Institute for goat research. They have also collaborated with our teams to help advance our international reach through small ruminant projects. This support has been vital in providing the support to build structures for irrigational systems for countries all over the world.

“As we prepare to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Dear Langston, it was important to us that we pay homage to our history as a USDA supported land grant university, said Dr. Wesley Whittaker. “The USDA partnership with LU has been instrumental. The financial support they provide has helped exponentially grow opportunity for the University’s academic and extension research, fellowship training, as well as providing student scholarship and internship opportunities.”


Langston University (LU) was founded as a land grant college through the Morrill Act of 1890. It was officially established when House Bill 151 passed on March 12, 1897, and named the Colored Agricultural and Normal University. The bill mandated the University to receive federal funds matched by state funds for the support of agricultural research and cooperative extension and community engagement.

Langston University (LU) was established prior to statehood. LU was founded in 1897 as a land grant institution, it is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the state of Oklahoma. LU has both a rural and urban mandated mission with campuses in Langston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and one extension in Ardmore. Langston University produces top academic scholars within the six schools that house the degree programs. LU boasts a total of 30 undergraduate and 5 graduate degree programs are offered within Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Behavioral Science, Nursing and Health Professions, and Physical Therapy. Currently, the top majors are nursing, health physical education and recreation, liberal education, and psychology.