President to speak at 120th Barnard commencement ceremony

President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote speech at Barnard College's 120th commencement ceremony in May, according to university officials. Barnard was established in Manhattan in 1889, and is a private liberal arts school for women.

The president usually gives speeches at three or four colleges every spring. The school had originally lined up Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, to give the keynote, but she agreed to speak at a later date after White House officials contacted the school to extend the offer for President Obama to deliver the address.

"This is an extraordinary honor for Barnard and we are thrilled to welcome President Obama for this important moment in the lives of our graduates and their families," Debora Spar, president of the college, said in a statement.

Last April, the president spoke at Miami Dade College in Florida, according to the White House website. President Obama gave a speech to more than 4,000 graduates on the importance of working hard and staying focused on academic goals. The president was also presented with an honorary associate's degree by officials at the school, which is one of the largest community colleges in the country.


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