Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will address more than 840 graduates on Homewood Field at the 2023 Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Master’s Graduation Ceremony on Monday, May 22.
“I am deeply honored to have Director Young share his insight and inspiration with our graduates,” says Veronica Donahue, associate dean for graduate and professional programs at Johns Hopkins University. “His experience and vision dovetail perfectly with the mission of the Krieger School, which is devoted to discovery that creates new knowledge and solutions that better the world.”
Young has a rich history as a leader, curator, and teacher, and as an author, editor, and poet. Since 2021, he has helmed the National Museum of African American History and Culture—the only national museum solely focused on documenting African American life, history, and culture. The museum draws two million visitors annually and engages an international audience through its online programming and collections.
Prior to joining the museum, he served as director of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, taught in higher education for two decades, and was curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and of Literary Collections at Emory University.
The author of fourteen books of poetry and prose, including, most recently, Stones (Knopf, 2021), Young has had his works longlisted for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award and is winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize, the PEN Open Award, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is poetry editor of the New Yorker and host of the New Yorker’s poetry podcast.
Young is also the editor of nine volumes, most recently the much-lauded anthology African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (Library of America, 2020).
Young earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and a Master of Fine Arts from Brown University. He held a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2020.
In addition to the graduates, nearly 4,000 guests are expected to be on hand as Young gives his address. Read more about the 2023 KSAS Master’s Graduation Ceremony.