Geum Yi

President Obama to speak at UC Irvine graduation

March 21, 2014
President Barack Obama accepted UCI's invitation to deliver the keynote address at their graduation ceremony.

President Barack Obama accepted UCI’s invitation to
deliver the keynote address at their graduation ceremony.

(CNS) — President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address to UC Irvine’s class of 2014 during a graduation ceremony at Angel Stadium, the White House and the university announced today.

Students conducted a large-scale campaign to lure Obama to the June 14 event, with students and staff collecting signatures on around 10,000 postcards that were delivered along with a video to the White House.

“We are thrilled that the president has accepted our invitation to deliver the keynote address at our commencement exercises this June,” UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake said.  ”We will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies of our campus. 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.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson took part in the June 1964 dedication ceremony in pasture that is now home to the university.

More than 8,000 students will receive degrees during UCI graduation ceremonies that will be held over three days, according to the university. The unified event at Anaheim stadium will include all undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, with individual ceremonies planned June 15-16.

Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system, said she was “thrilled” at the announcement.

“The UC Irvine community — students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni — deserve all of the credit for making this happen,” Napolitano said.  ”Across the 10 campuses of the University of California, we’re very proud of all that the campus has accomplished since President Johnson joined in the dedication of the Irvine campus in June 1964.”