Two distinguished Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumni will return to their alma mater in May to deliver inspirational addresses to graduates during the 2018 spring commencement exercises. The ceremonies will be held May 4-5 at the Alfred L. Lawson, Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.
Northern Trust Asset Management President Shundrawn Thomas, who received his degree in accounting from FAMU, will address students on Friday, May 4 at 6 p.m.
Filmmaker Rob Hardy, who received his degree in mechanical engineering from FAMU, will address students on Saturday, May 5 at both 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. An Army ROTC commissioning ceremony will be held during the 9 a.m. event.
As president of Northern Trust Asset Management, Thomas’ responsibilities include developing long-term strategy, executing operating plans, cultivating client relationships, managing vendor relationships and developing talented professionals. He also serves as a member of the Management Group for Northern Trust Corporation. Previously, Thomas served as executive vice president and head of Funds and Managed Accounts at Northern, and president and chief executive of its subsidiary Northern Trust Securities, Inc.
Thomas, who received an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, was recognized by Diversity MBA Magazine as one of the nation’s “Top 50 Diverse Executives Under 50” and by Black Enterprise as one of the “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street.”
Hardy is a producer, director and CEO of Rainforest Entertainment, a full-scale production company. He is a driving force behind many of today’s popular television and film productions including the “The Quad,” a critically-acclaimed show focused on a fictional historically Black college.
As an executive producer, Hardy’s credits include “No Good Deed,” “ Stomp The Yard,” “Think Like a Man,” “Think Like a Man Too” and “Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK.” His credits as a director include “Black’ish” “Being Mary Jane,” “Empire,” “Power,” “ How to Get Away with Murder,” “Criminal Minds,” “ER,” and “The Flash.”
The Hollywood Reporter celebrated Hardy as one of the leading African-American “Power Brokers” and Black Enterprise listed him among the “Top 25 Money Makers in Entertainment.” In 2014 he was nominated for the prestigious NAACP Image Award. Hardy, who also graduated from the New York Film Academy, launched his career in the early 90’s while a student at FAMU, when he teamed up with fellow Rattler and filmmaker Will Packer. The two would go on to develop some of the most popular African-American films in the history of Hollywood.