Dr. Dietra Trent, executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs

White House official named Denmark Tech Commencement Speaker

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Denmark Technical College has announced Dr. Dietra Trent, executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, as the 2023 commencement speaker. The annual ceremony takes place on the Denmark Technical College campus at 10:00 a.m. on April 29, in the William L. McDuffie Student Life Center.

“Our partnership with the White House Initiative on HBCUs has led to a wealth of advancements and opportunities at Denmark Technical College. We’re thrilled to have someone like Dr. Trent as our 2023 commencement speaker, who is so dedicated to helping HBCUs not merely survive, but to seeing them thrive,” said Willie L. Todd Jr., Ph.D., president and CEO of Denmark Technical College.

Trent earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice from Hampton University and completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in public administration and policy from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has over twenty-five years of experience working to advance equity for Virginia’s most disadvantaged populations.

She has served in several leadership positions at George Mason University, including chief of staff and interim Vice President for Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics. In 2016, Dr. Trent was appointed as Virginia’s Secretary of Education.

She has served as the Virginia Deputy Secretary of Education, a position she also held during the administration of Governor Tim Kaine. Having served in the administrations of three former governors, as well as in the Office of Congressman Bobby Scott, she has a wealth of federal, state and higher education experience.

Trent currently serves as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“It is a thrill to be Denmark Technical College’s 2023 commencement speaker. I’m passionate about helping HBCUs like Denmark Tech provide a path to economic mobility for the students they serve,” said Trent.

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