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Obama to UCI: Yes, I Will Speak at Commencement

The president is now scheduled to appear June 14 at Angel Stadium.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
Originally posted at 10:09 a.m. March 20, 2014. Updated with new details.

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."

--City News Service contributed to this report.



Mike T March 22, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Demographics of 2012 enrolling freshman class[70] Ethnicity Percent Asian American 55.7% White American 17.5% Mexican American 16.0% Spanish American 4.4% African American 2.9% Decline to state 2.9% American-Indian <1%
Mike T March 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Most current UCI student ratio. Percent English Speaking -- Percent French Speaking -- Percent Spanish Speaking -- Caucasian Population 22% African American Population 2% Asian Population 41% Hispanic Population 18% Native American Population 0% Native/Pacific Islander Population 0% Two or More Race Population 4% International Student Population 9% Unknown Race Population 4%
shelly March 22, 2014 at 08:29 PM
Mike T. Most students at UCI are US citizens. Almost all U.S.A. citizens are descendants of immigrants except for Native Americans.
Nancy March 22, 2014 at 10:30 PM
Mike T, are those "White Americans" possibly German Americans, Irish Americans, or ?? Would you venture to guess how many of the Asian American students don't speak a word of Chinese? Perhaps half or more? Koreans, Vietnamese, Thai, and Japanese (to name a few) don't speak Chinese. Please tell me you knew this already. Just like we might not speak Spanish, Portuguese, or French even though we're from the "Americas"-- yet those other languages dominate in eastern Canada, Latin America, and Brazil. There are large numbers of UCI students with Asian heritage (NOT nationality) in other southeast Asian countries who are not Chinese.
Shripathi Kamath March 22, 2014 at 11:36 PM
Nancy, shelly, Y'all need to speak Bircherese. 'Americans' does not include Asian Americans. Because, LOOK AT THEM.

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