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Actor, former Buffalonian Jesse L. Martin to address Buffalo State grads

Martin speak at the college's 147th commencement on Saturday, May 18.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The man once voted "Most Talented" in his senior class at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts will pay a visit to his hometown next month.

Buffalo State College announced Wednesday actor Jesse L. Martin will address both baccalaureate and graduate class ceremonies for the college's 147th commencement on Saturday, May 18.

Martin, known for his role of Tom Collins in the Broadway musical RENT and his TV role as Detective Ed Gree on Law & Order, will be presented with a SUNY honorary doctor of fine arts degree during the 9 A.M. baccalaureate ceremony.

"Buffalo State is thrilled to honor and welcome Jesse L. Martin as our 2019 commencement speaker," said College President Katherine Conway-Turner. "Mr. Martin, through his illustrious career as an actor, singer, and director, along with his history with our great campus and wonderful city, will offer a unique, relevant, and inspiring message to our 2019 graduates."

In accepting the role, Martin sent this message to Conway-Turner:

"I Jesse L. Martin, formally and humbly accept the honor of giving the 2019 Commencement Speech at Buffalo State College. I also, very proudly, accept the Honorary Doctorate that your amazing institution has offered to bestow upon me. It is not lost on me the degree of importance this honor carries. As a child of the Buffalo Public School system, who attended elementary school on your beautiful campus, this is a dream come true."

Martin currently portrays Joe West in the superhero series The Flash, a spin-off from Arrow that premiered in October 2014.