Opal Lee Receives Honorary Doctorate at UNT Commencement

Opal Lee receives honorary commencement UNT

More than 6,700 students graduated from the University of North Texas this past weekend, but one degree garnered particular attention: an honorary doctorate presented to Fort Worth’s Opal Lee, known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” for her years of advocacy for the day’s federal holiday designation.

The 95-year-old’s honor was bestowed Sunday in the UNT Coliseum during the university’s doctoral and master’s ceremonies.

It wasn’t the first time Lee walked the stage at the university. Way back in 1963, she earned a master’s degree in education at what was then known as North Texas State University.

It’s just the latest accolade in a whirlwind of celebrations for Lee. In February, she traveled to Austin to see her portrait unveiled in the Texas Senate Chamber, where it will be permanently displayed.

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