Skip to main content

Award-winning actor and Conservatory of Performing Arts alumnus Jaquel Spivey '21 made a surprise visit to Point Park University to celebrate the Class of 2024 at commencement. Spivey recently played Damian Hubbard in the feature film "Mean Girls" and Usher in "A Strange Loop" on Broadway, a role he landed two months after earning a B.F.A. in musical theatre

"It feels like coming home when I'm at Point Park," Spivey said. "I know this community and I know these people. It's nice to be in a city that feels like it's yours." 

While on campus, Spivey and alumnus Devon Lemont '21 made an appearance at the freshman musical theatre showcase.

"It was so exciting to have Jaquel with us for the freshman showcase," said Tim Marquette, M.A., teaching artist and coordinator of private voice. "A few of the seniors, who were the creative team for the showcase, were all freshmen when Jaquel was a senior. It was a special moment of connection across the generations!"

Later that day, Spivey and Lemont attended a reception for Conservatory seniors and faculty in Lawrence Hall. 

Photos from Spivey's Visit

Jaquel Spivey '21 Makes Surprise Visit to Point Park

"Jaquel being my 'big' (mentor) in the musical theatre program was everything," said Jordan Threatt '24. "He always encouraged me to do my best and reminded me that what's meant for me will not pass me by. Having him here for our graduation was a true blessing." 

"As a graduating POC queer actor, it meant a lot to see a successful POC queer alumnus in my field," added Clark Eileen Atkinson '24.

The following day, donning graduation regalia, Spivey gave a surprise welcome address to the graduating class and their families at PPG Paints Arena. 

"I'm so proud of ya'll," Spivey said. "The world is still discovering who Point Park is and what Point Park is, and they don't know the beauty and excellence that is in this university. I hope you leave here today and you are loud and proud that you went to Point Park University."

He added: "If you found your people here who make you smile every day and made each day a little brighter for you, I think you found people for the rest of your life. Congratulations to my fellow alumni of Point Park University!"

 Zeva Barzell, M.F.A., professor and director of musical theatre, said Spivey's visit was a wonderful surprise for the students.

"The students were over the moon to have Jaquel there for the freshman showcase and at graduation," she said. "The words spoken to the graduating class at Commencement were joyful, warm and caring — just like Jaquel!"

Video from Spivey's Visit

Join the Point Park Community in Downtown Pittsburgh

Learn more about Point Park's Conservatory of Performing Arts B.F.A. and B.A. programs in theatre, dance and cinema

Apply today to begin exploring your college experience at Point Park. 

More About: Conservatory of Performing Arts, Conservatory Alumni, success story, acting, PPG Paints Arena, faculty, alumni, musical theatre, commencement, theatre