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Cabinet Commences Commencement Addresses

By Ed O'Keefe

President Obama will make his first of three commencement addresses today at Arizona State University, with a (controversial) appearance scheduled for Sunday at Notre Dame University and another speech at the Naval Academy on May 22. Several Cabinet secretaries, at least one assistant secretary and two top White House advisers will also participate in diploma distribution duties across the country, passing on words of encouragement and advice to members of the class of 2009.

For example, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will speak today at Yankee Stadium for New York University's commencement ceremonies. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will give four graduation speeches, the most of any Obama administration official. In most cases, the appearances were scheduled long before officials accepted jobs with the administration.

Here's a full rundown of the upcoming graduation obligations for Cabinet secretaries and a few senior White House aides:

The Obama Administration's Graduation Schedule

Name Schools
Senior Adviser David Axelrod DePaul School of Communications, June 13
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton New York University, May 13; Barnard College May 18
VA Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth Clinton School of Public Service, April 25; University of Illinois at Chicago College of Applied Health Sciences, May 7; Chicago School of Professional Psychology, June 12
Education Secretary Arne Duncan St. Michael’s College, May 14; Lewis University, May 16
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel George Washington University, May 17; Sarah Lawrence College May 22
Defense Secretary Robert Gates West Point Military Academy, May 23; Wichita High School (his alma matter) May 27; University of Washington June 13
Attorney General Eric Holder Howard University School of Law, May 9; University of Pennsylvania Department of Criminology, May 16; Columbia University Columbia College, May 19
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Kean University, Union, N.J., May 14; Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J., May 16
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood University of Illinois College of Law, May 16; Monmouth College, May 17
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano University of New Mexico School of Medicine, May 15; U.S. Coast Guard Academy, May 20
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Harvard Kennedy School of Government, June 3
VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki Appears at West Point Graduate Awards Ceremony, May 19
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Miami Dade College, May 2; California State University, Dominguez Hills, May 22; California State University, Fullerton, May 24; Hunter College of City University of New York, May 28

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 13, 2009; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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