The University Board of Regents announced yesterday that Gov. Jennifer Granholm will give the keynote address at the University’s spring commencement ceremony April 26.

“I am thrilled to be speaking to the class of 2003 at the University of Michigan,” Granholm said in a written statement. “These young people are our future. This is the perfect opportunity to talk to them about how they will impact our world.”

University President Mary Sue Coleman said she is pleased that Granholm will address the graduates. “I am gratified that Governor Granholm will deliver this year’s commencement address – in my first year as president of the University and her first year as governor,” Coleman said in a written statement. “Governor Granholm represents an example of energetic and dedicated public service that will be of great value to our graduates as they begin the next stage of their lives.”

In addition to delivering the main address, the Board of Regents also invited Granholm to receive an honorary doctorate of law at commencement.

“Honorary degrees are a way the academic community represents achievement and accomplishment,” said Nancy Connell, director of News and Information Services at the University.

She added that it has long been a University tradition to confer an honorary degree on the governor. Former Michigan Gov. John Engler was awarded an honorary doctorate of law in 1993.

Former Republican state Sen. John Schwarz of Battle Creek will give the main address at the University Graduate Exercises on April 25 and will also receive an honorary doctorate of law.

Four other guests will also receive honorary degrees at commencement – Oleg Grabar, professor emeritus at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies; Judith Jamison, director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Hillel Shuval, Lunenfeld-Kunen professor of environmental sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Billy Taylor, jazz pianist and educator at University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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