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Friday, Oct. 29, 2010 11:33 a.m.

Mike Bloomberg to be Commencement speaker

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg will be the University-wide Commencement speaker this May.

Bloomberg, an independent, was named by Forbes magazine the 10th richest person in the United States in 2010. Besides his role as mayor, Bloomberg is noted for his extensive philanthropy. Through the Bloomberg Family Foundation, he donated or pledged almost $700 million to charities before 2007, according to the Chronicle of Education.

He has served as mayor of New York City for the last nine years.

The announcement was made by University President Steven Knapp during the GW Global Forum in New York City Friday.

“Michael Bloomberg has an extraordinary record of achievement as a public servant, philanthropist and business leader,” Knapp said in a statement. “He is also an inspiring speaker, and we are honored that he has accepted our invitation to address the class of 2011.”

Mayor Bloomberg will speak to about 25,000 graduates and guests and receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service on May 15.

“I think that his success in business and politics will really speak to GW students,” Jason Lifton, Student Association President said. “We’re excited to have him here.”

First lady Michelle Obama was the Commencement speaker for the Class of 2010′s ceremony. She stressed public service in her address to graduates. Previous Commencement speakers also include Rahm Emanuel, former chief of staff to President Barack Obama; former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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