Graduates of Howard University won't have to watch actor Chadwick Boseman on the big screen on Saturday, May 12, 2018. They will see and hear him in person. That's because the "Black Panther" star will deliver the keynote address at the 150th commencement ceremony at the historically black university in Washington, DC. The president of the school also announced on Wednesday that the 40-year-old actor will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree, Howard's highest honor.

Boseman invited to speak

It is not unusual for colleges and universities to capitalize on the success of one of their own to return and deliver a commencement address.

Apparently, officials at the school knew well in advance how successful Boseman would become long before the billion-dollar movie "Black Panther" was released. Speakers are invited long in advance of the graduation.

It is also not unusual for the successful speakers to receive an honorary degree at the time they speak. That is how Oprah Winfrey has collected so many. In fact, she is one of the most popular commencement speakers.

Connection to school

This is the first time Boseman has been invited to speak at a graduation ceremony.

It will probably not be the last one he is invited to. No one knows what he will say, but ears will be wide open as the "Black Panther [VIDEO]" star addresses the crowd. Most commencement speakers have a connection to the school, and Boseman does. The South Carolina native graduated from Howard in 2000 and received a bachelor degree in fine arts in directing.

Boseman said in a release that he is excited to return to the Mecca in celebration of the achievements of illustrious students. He called for everyone, including himself, to listen, learn and build with one another. That's an indication that Boseman's speech will be an encouraging one with the focus on the students and their future success.

Not just 'Black Panther'

President Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement that Boseman has taken on other roles that Howard University is proud of him for doing.

Those roles have included Boseman's portrayal of some iconic African-Americans including Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall who was also a Howard graduate.

No doubt when Boseman stands up to speak in his commencement cap and gown, everyone there will remember what he looked and sounded like in his "Black Panther" starring role. The graduates of 2018 are in for a treat to have Boseman as their speaker. He will call every graduate to action with a mandate to go out and make the world a better place to live.