Capitol Alert: President Obama to speak at UC Irvine commencement

03/20/2014 12:25 PM

03/20/2014 12:52 PM

Following a letter-writing campaign by students and alumni, President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at UC Irvine this year, the White House announced Thursday.

The commencement ceremony, set for June 14 at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, will kick off the university's 50th anniversary celebration. In June 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated the land that would become UC Irvine.

"We are thrilled that the President has accepted our invitation to deliver the keynote address at our commencement exercises this June," Chancellor Michael V. Drake said in a statement. "We are proud of the progress we have made during our first half century, and are looking forward to even greater achievements in the years to come."

UC Irvine first extended an invitation to Obama in April 2013. This year, approximately 10,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni sent postcards to the White House requesting the president speak at the university's commencement, which will honor more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students.

This is not the first time a University of California school has gotten a graduation visit from the Obama administration. In 2009, the first graduating class of UC Merced successfully lobbied First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at their commencement.

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