CROOKSTON, Minn. - The University of Minnesota Crookston is excited to announce alumnus Wemimo Abbey 2013, recently featured in the New York Times for work related to his multimillion dollar company, will be the keynote speaker for both commencements Saturday, May 8. 

UMN Crookston commencement organizers stated that in order to have a safe commencement and follow COVID-19 protocols from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health there will be two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 8 in Lysaker Gymnasium. Abbey will attend and keynote both in-person events, which will be split into two academic divisions. Business and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education will have a ceremony at 10 a.m., while Math, Science, and Technology and Agriculture and Natural Resources will convene at 2 p.m.  Each student attending the graduation will be allowed two guests at their respective ceremony. Approximately 200 students are signed up to walk in this year’s graduation ceremonies. 

Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause handing a diploma to a student

Abbey is a young entrepreneur who is the co-founder of Esusu, an app created to partner with multifamily owners and property owners to report rental payment data into credit bureaus. In addition, Esusu pairs tenants who can’t afford rent with loans to get back on their feet fast. He has helped build the company into a multimillion dollar company and was featured in the New York Times earlier this year for his work with Esusu. He is the founder of non-profit group Clean Water for Everyone, a social venture providing access to clean water for over 100,000 people in four countries. 

Abbey graduated from UMN Crookston in 2013 with distinction. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management. He is also a graduate of the International Non-Profit Management Program at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, and a Queens Young Leader Leading Change Scholar at Cambridge University. Abbey is a recipient of the Africa Young African Committed to Excellence award and has also received the Sue W. Hancock Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) award, the United States Presidential Achievement award, and the National Excellence in Leadership award. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, in 2016, Abbey was selected by Queen Elizabeth II as a Queen Young Leader, and joined the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2017. Abbey currently lives in New York, N.Y.

About UMN Crookston

One of five campuses in the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Crookston cultivates curiosity by engaging students in hands-on learning connecting theory to practice. As the experienced leader in delivering education online, the Crookston campus offers a distinctive learning environment providing personal attention and mentorship to develop leaders, lifelong learners, and engaged citizens. Visit Crookston at 

About UMN

The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Learn more at

Story Contact: Shawn Smith