CSU announces HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge as Spring Commencement Speaker

By: Maggie Phillips

Marcia Fudge at her first press conference as HUD Secretary, Graphic by: Jack Brancatelli

On March 26, Cleveland State University President Harlan Sands announced newly appointed U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge will be the commencement speaker for the spring 2021 graduation ceremony. Graduation is May 15 at Progressive Field- the first in-person commencement the university has had since COVID-19.

Despite her recent move to Washington D.C. to join President Biden’s cabinet, Fudge has extensive ties to Cleveland and the CSU community. She was born in the city of Cleveland and attended Shaker Heights High School before earning her undergraduate degree at Ohio State University. Fudge returned to Cleveland and completed her law degree at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1983. 

In 1999, Fudge was elected mayor of Warrensville Heights, becoming the first black mayor and the first female mayor in the city’s history. She served as mayor until 2008, when she became the congressional representative for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. Serving for 12 years, Fudge stepped down just before being sworn into her new position, gaining Senate approval on March 10. 

Anton Krieger, who is graduating with his master’s degree this spring, shared his thoughts on Secretary Fudge as commencement speaker.

“It’s a great honor to have Secretary Fudge speaking at commencement. Even if you disagree with her politics, having a Viking being appointed to Secretary of HUD is a win for the university.”