Author Roxane Gay (image provided)

ITHACA, N.Y.—Award-winning author Roxane Gay will be the Cornell Senior Convocation speaker at Cornell University, according to an announcement from the school’s Class of 2021 Convocation Committee on Thursday afternoon.

The ceremony will take place Friday, May 28, with Gay speaking at 8:30 p.m. It will be streamed on, though it will only be available to “Cornell students, faculty, alumni and staff.”

A recording of the speech will be posted on Cornell’s website in early June.

Gay, whose writing focuses on race, sex, feminism, self-image and more, originally flirted with the idea of delivering Cornell’s convocation in 2019 when comedian Hasan Minhaj dropped out. Eventually, Bill Nye, of Science Guy fame, was chosen as the speaker. Gay is a visiting professor at Yale University and contributes as a writer to The New York Times.

As quoted in the Cornell Chronicle, Committee Chair Hassaan Bin Sabir said Gay’s writing “has embodied authenticity, while shifting the needle of societal change in a certain direction. Roxane Gay has reached great heights being true to her own story and expressing her own voice.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at