Updated: 2:11 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 | Posted: 1:29 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013

Obama to give commencement address at Ohio State


President Obama gives commencement speech photo
Charles Rex Arbogast
resident Barack Obama delivers his commencement address during commencement ceremonies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., Sunday, May 17, 2009.

By Jessica Wehrman and Encarnacion Pyle

Washington Bureau / Columbus Dispatch

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address to the largest graduating class in Ohio State University’s history on May 5, according to the White House.

It’s the first trip to Ohio that Obama has scheduled since a Nov. 5 campaign stop in Columbus with singer Bruce Springsteen, though the White House acknowledged it’s possible he could be in the state before May.

“Ohio State is honored to have President Obama address our graduates and their families at the largest commencement in school history,” said Ohio State President Gordon Gee. “That the final chapter of our graduates’ college experience will be written by the leader of our remarkable nation is an uncommon and unforgettable distinction.”

He’ll speak at a ceremony scheduled for noon on Sunday, May 5 at Ohio Stadium. The commencement will be the first spring graduation since the university began using the semester system. About 12,000 students are expected to graduate that day.

Obama is the third sitting president to deliver Ohio State’s commencement address. George W. Bush spoke to spring graduates in 2002. Gerald Ford addressed summer graduates shortly after rising to the presidency in 1974. Both George H. W. Bush and Walter Mondale also spoke to graduates when they were vice president. Bill Clinton spoke to graduates in 2007, but that was years after his presidency concluded.

Additional security measures will be in place for the president’s visit in May. The university will require all guests to have a ticket. Each graduate will be eligible for four tickets for their guests. Tickets are free, but graduates must present a photo ID to get their tickets. Graduates do not need a ticket for commencement.


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