President Barack Obama to speak at ASU graduation in May

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Students excited for graduation speech

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at three colleges in May, including Arizona State University in Tempe.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that Obama will speak at ASU on May 13, Notre Dame on May 17 and the U.S. Naval Academy on May 22. Presidents typically deliver a speech to graduating students at one of the three service academies.

As a candidate, Obama spoke to the graduates of Wesleyan University in Connecticut last May, filling in for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

According to ASU, this year's graduating class has more than 8,000 students, many of whom will be the first in their familes to earn a college degree.

"President Obama's stand and priority on education has been applauded by thousands of educators throughout the United States," said Michael M. Crow, ASU's president. "The progressive leadership he has already displayed and the values he espouses are a great example for our students and for the extended community that surrounds us.

"The president's emphasis on building the next generation of leaders in science, technology and sustainability, as well as the arts, mirrors ASU's mission as a New American University. His advocacy for representation of women and people of color, engaging a broader spectrum of leadership, models significantly for others at the highest level."

The is Wednesday, May 13, at 7 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.