Dr. Barry Black, the first African-American to serve as U.S. Senate chaplain, returns to his alma mater to serve as commencement speaker at Salve Regina University at the university’s 66th commencement on May 15 in Newport.
Elected in 2003 as the first black Senate chaplain, Black had served in the U.S. Navy for 27 years, retiring as a Rear Admiral and chief of Navy chaplains. He received a master’s degree in human development from Salve Regina in 1989.
A Baltimore native, Black was commissioned as a Navy Chaplain in 1976, serving at duty stations across the globe, including Newport, where he taught at the Naval Chaplains School Advanced Course. Other postings have included Norfolk, Va; Philadelphia; Annapolis; Okinawa, Japan; Long Beach and San Diego, CA; Beaufort, S.C.; and Pensacola, FL.
Black has had an outstanding career. He was chosen from 127 nominees for the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award for his contributions to equal opportunity and civil rights.
Black will also be granted an honorary doctorate at commencement.