UC Merced

For a day, UC Merced outshines sister UC campuses

UC Merced students may have turned the establishment on its head when they scored first lady Michelle Obama as commencement speaker, but some big names are appearing at other UC campuses this spring as well.

Here is a roundup of the commencement speakers at other UC campuses this spring, in order of the campus' founding date:

Berkeley: Chris Gardner, the businessman whose autobiography, "The Pursuit of Happyness," inspired the movie starring Will Smith, will speak at the campus-wide convocation. The UC Berkeley student newspaper wrote an editorial entitled "Put to shame by Merced" after the first lady confirmed her attendance.

San Francisco: William E. Evans, director and CEO of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, addressed graduates in the school of pharmacy earlier this month.

Los Angeles: James Franco, an actor, director, producer and screenwriter, will speak at the College of Letters and Sciences. Students on campus formed a Facebook group protesting his selection for the address.

Riverside: At various ceremonies: Richard J. Heckmann, Chairman and CEO of K2, Inc.; Peter Staudhammer, director and COO of The Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering; and Thomas Adams, CEO, Leucadia Technologies, Inc.

Santa Barbara: Alan F. Horn, president & COO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., will speak at the environmental science and management commencement, while Paul Roberts, journalist and author, will address engineering and science graduates.

Davis: UC Davis holds several graduation ceremonies for each college. Among the speakers are: Darrell Steinberg, California Senate president pro tempore; Condessa Curley, a Southern California physician and founder of Project Africa Global; and Steve Robinson, astronaut.

San Diego: Mike Judge, creator behind cult films and TV shows such as "Office Space" and "King of the Hill," will serve as keynote speaker at the all-campus graduation ceremony.

Santa Cruz: Moira Gunn, host of National Public Radio's Tech Nation and BioTech Nation, will speak to graduates in the engineering college.

Irvine: Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times columnist, and UC Regent Sherry Lansing are among several speakers scheduled for the campus' 11 ceremonies.

Merced: First lady Michelle Obama.

-- Danielle Gaines

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