Rick Snyder to deliver University of Michigan commencement address
First, the president. Now, the governor.
A year after President Barack Obama used the platform of the University of Michigan spring commencement ceremony to say civility is needed in political debates, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will get his chance to say a few words.
Snyder is scheduled to deliver U-M's spring commencement address at 10 a.m. April 30 at Michigan Stadium, the university said today.
Angela Cesere | AnnArbor.com
The former Ann Arbor venture capitalist and first-time politician will also add to his collection of U-M degrees when the university awards him an honorary doctor of laws. Snyder earned his bachelor’s, master’s of business administration and law degrees by May 1982, three months before he turned 24.
"As a Michigan alumnus and the state's chief executive, Governor Snyder is uniquely positioned to tell our graduates about the challenges and rewards of leadership," U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said. "We look forward to his message, and to presenting honorary degrees to the exceptional individuals who will join us in celebrating the Class of 2011."
The commencement address will take place a month before Snyder has said he wants to get the state's 2011-12 budget approved. His proposal includes a proposed 15 percent cut to higher education funding.
Coleman told AnnArbor.com last month that she "understood that there has to be sacrifice."
"I can look at the numbers, I can look at the revenue and I just have realized that it takes a brave governor to tackle every little piece of it, and that’s what he’s trying to do," she said. "We need to get our financial house in order in this state."
U-M is also expected to distribute an honorary doctor of laws degree to former U.S. Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers, an honorary doctor of fine arts degree to film director Spike Lee, an honorary doctor of laws degree to Ford Motor Co. executive chairman and Snyder supporter Bill Ford Jr. and an honorary doctor of laws to billionaire real estate executive, Miami Dolphins owner and U-M donor Stephen Ross.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eugene Robinson is scheduled to speak at University Graduate Exercises at 9:30 a.m. April 29 at Hill Auditorium. He will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters.