Dame Julie Andrews is the spring 2013 commencement speaker. The ceremony will take place on Friday, May 10, at 8:30 a.m. at Folsom Stadium and is open to the public.
Ms. Andrews is a multiple winner of Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Grammys, SAG and BAFTA Awards for her iconic performances. She is the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor and was invested as a Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001. Her career spans over 60 years and includes her enormous success as a best-selling children’s author of over 27 books. Dame Andrews is well known for her advocacy of the arts and education and has spent much of her time off-screen devoted to her philanthropic endeavors which includes her Ambassadorship to the United Nations for UNIFEM and the creation, with her late husband, Blake Edwards of Operation USA, a highly mobilized worldwide disaster relief organization.
The Senior Class Council spent a great amount of time researching potential speakers they felt would best represent the values of the senior class as they align with the purpose of the university, according to Sosi Papazian, president of Senior Class Council. The council also received input from a number of students, resource centers on campus and finally had a discussion with the chancellor regarding the benefits of potential speakers.
"First and foremost, Julie Andrews was selected for her success as a career woman and because of her efforts to engage in the greater community," Papazian said. "The Council thinks that she can reach a wide variety of students as a well-educated and practiced speaker. We hope that her presence at commencement will garner greater support for the university as a respected institution in addition to providing an extra element of recognition for the hard working graduates this May.
The Senior Class Council is also responsible for fostering senior class pride on campus and plans to host an event in honor of the anticipated keynote speaker on March 14 in the University Memorial Center. For more information please visit the Council’s website.