Award-winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, will deliver the address at the 2020 University of Pennsylvania Commencement on Monday, May 18.
The announcement was made Thursday by Vice President and Secretary of the university, Medha Narvekar.
“We are honoured to bestow our highest degree on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and have her address our graduates at Penn’s 264th Commencement. Her compelling narratives and absolutely fascinating commentary on complex cultural issues elevate the power of the individual voice,” she said.
According to the secretary, Anthony M. Kennedy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jill Lepore, Stanley A. Plotkin, Sister Mary Scullion, Gregg L. Semenza, and Henry Threadgill are also slated to be conferred with honorary degrees in various field.
Nigerian-born Adichie began her first novel, “Purple Hibiscus,” during her senior year in college. The work won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her second novel, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” won the Orange Prize. In 2013, “Americanah” won the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books.
Adichie is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her work, often taking on themes of politics, immigration, religion, and love, has been translated into more than 30 languages.