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Sidney J. Barthelemy, Bivian “Sonny” Lee, and PJ Morton to address the Class of 2019
Three accomplished St. Augustine High School alumni will inspire the graduating students and their families and friends at the 65th annual commencement ceremonies in May. Former Mayor of New Orleans and HRI Properties Vice President of Government Relations Sidney J. Barthelemy, Son of a Saint founder Bivian “Sonny” Lee III, and GRAMMY® Award winning musician PJ Morton will address the class of 2019 at the St. Augustine Commencement ceremonies on May 15.
“St. Augustine is proud to honor these three examples of leadership and service,” President and CEO, Kenneth A. St. Charles, Ph.D. '81 said. “The achievements of our alumni serve as a powerful inspiration to our graduates and we are thrilled to have them deliver their powerful messages at the 2019 commencement."
The commencement ceremony will take place at the Xavier University of Louisiana Convocation Center on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
More about the honorees:
Sidney J. Barthelemy: Class of 1960
The second African American to hold the New Orleans Mayoral seat, Sidney Barthelemy’s long and distinguished career in public service included serving in the Louisiana State Senate and serving two terms on the New Orleans City Council, and was a member at-large on the New Orleans City Council.
At HRI Properties’ Barthelemy helps the company navigate the often-complex hurdles its development projects face. A former president of the National League of Cities, Louisiana Conference of Mayors and National Association of Regional Councils, he understands the complex forces that shape urban areas culturally and economically. In 1994, he was honored with the National League of Cities Leadership Award.
Barthelemy served as an adjunct professor for the Kennedy School of Government and the Tulane University School of Public Health. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from St. Joseph Seminary in Washington, D.C., and he holds a master’s in social work from Tulane University.
Bivian "Sonny" Lee III: Class of 1999
As President/Executive Director of Son of a Saint, Bivian "Sonny" Lee III, has dedicated his life to enhancing the lives of fatherless boys. Prior to founding the Son of a Saint, Lee served as chief aide to Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. He was previously the Director of Operations for the New Orleans Zephyrs AAA Baseball Team and Director of the New Orleans Jazz Institute.
Lee graduated with honors from St. Augustine High School and later earned a degree in Marketing and Management from the University of New Orleans. A TEDx speaker on community service, decision-making and the importance of education, Lee's nonprofit work has been highlighted on CNN, Al Jazeera America, NPR and many local New Orleans television stations and newspapers.
PJ Morton: Class of 1999
GRAMMY® Award- and Dove® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, Morton Records founder, and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton quietly, independently, and humbly secured his position at the forefront of 21st century soul and R&B. Recorded live and released under Morton Records, Gumbo Unplugged garnered a 2019 GRAMMY® in the category of “Best Traditional R&B Performance” for “How Deep Is Your Love” [feat. Yebba] among three nominations. His total back-to-back tally of solo nominations is now five. A week prior, he walked on to the world’s biggest stage for a historic performance alongside Maroon 5 at Super Bowl LIII.
Throughout 2018, he composed the score for YouTube Premium’s Champaign ILL and penned the theme to OWN’s Ready to Love. He wrapped up a holiday album, Christmas With PJ Morton, which Entertainment Weekly dubbed “this year’s surprise stocking stuffer.” Selling out gigs everywhere from Spain and Japan to Seoul, Korea, he touched down on four continents during the six-month Gumbo World Tour. Plus, he grew the roster of Morton Records by way of flagship signings The Amours and producer Erick Bardales. In 2017, Gumbo bowed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart. Generating over 30 million cumulative streams in under three years, he regularly averages over half-a-million monthly listeners on Spotify. 2013’s New Orleans received a 2014 GRAMMY® Award nomination.
In addition to figuring prominently on Maroon 5’s multiplatinum Overexposed, V, and Red Pill Blues, he has written and produced for everybody from BJ The Chicago Kid, Jermaine Dupri, and Jazmine Sullivan to Monica and India.Arie, winning a GRAMMY® for the latter in 2008. His compositions have popped up in films such as Couples Retreat. He has received Dove® and Stellar® Awards, published his literary debut Why Can’t I Sing About Love? in 2009, and become music director for Solange following the release of her opus A Seat At The Table.