Love, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and star in the Academy-Award winning documentary, 20 feet from stardom, will deliver the commencement address at Providence College’s 79th graduation exercises on Sunday, May 17. The event will be held at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Love’s musical career began at age 10, when she sang in a gospel choir at a church where her father was a preacher. She has credited her gospel beginnings as having a big influence on her carer. In the 1950s, Love joined a group called the Blossoms and quickly became the lead singer.
The Blossoms became the first-ever black, female back-up group. Through the years she has collaborated with such artists as U2, Bette Midler, Bruce Springsteen, Cher and Steven Van Zandt. She also has played roles in such Broadway plays as `Leader of the Pack,’ `Grease,’ and `Hairspray.’
Love was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. At the ceremony, Love sang with Springsteen and Midler. She will receive an honorary doctorate in music.
PC will also honor four others with honorary degrees.: Dr. Henry `Hank’ Foley. A 1977 PC grad, Foley is executive vice-president for academic affairs at the University of Missouri system; Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian theologian and Dominican priest who is regarded as one of the founders of liberation theology; Jane Lunin Perel, an emerita professor of English at PC and one of the first women to serve on the PC faculty; and Kevin Phelan, a 1966 PC grad who is a trustee emeritus of the college and a Boston business leader.
The graduation ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.