President Obama to deliver UC Irvine commencement address

President Obama will deliver UC Irvine's commencement address on June 14 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, the White House announced Thursday.

Obama's address will come as the campus celebrates its 50th anniversary, marking the year when President Johnson spoke at the dedication ceremony for the campus in 1964.


"We are thrilled that the president has accepted our invitation to deliver the keynote address at our commencement exercises this June," said UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake 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."

The university invited the president last April, and followed up by sending 10,000 postcards signed by UCI students and alumni, as well as a student-produced video, to the White House earlier this month.

The nearly two-minute video looks like an appeal to prospective students, featuring a montage of undergraduates walking around campus, dancing in classrooms and celebrating big basketball victories.

Mamadou Ndiaye, Irvine's 7-foot-6 freshman center, looks directly into the camera while towering over a cardboard cutout of Obama and says: "Mr. President, we should play ball together."

The president will speak before some 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

UC Merced successfully lobbied to have First Lady Michelle Obama deliver an address at its commencement ceremony in 2009.

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