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Ambassador Susan Rice to speak at Ohio State's spring commencement

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (U.N.), will be the speaker for Ohio State University’s spring commencement. Graduation begins at noon on Sunday, June 10, at Ohio Stadium. The ceremony is the university's 400th commencement and Ohio State's last on the academic quarter system.

About 10,000 graduates will receive degrees at the ceremony, continuing a trend that has seen the largest ever graduating class for spring commencements each year since 2008.

"We are honored to have Ambassador Susan Rice address our graduates and their families at our largest commencement ever," said President E. Gordon Gee. "Ambassador Rice is a scholar, a leader on the international stage, and a fierce advocate for peace and human rights. Her extraordinary insights and life lessons will be the ideal epilogue to inspire the next generation of leaders."
Ambassador Rice, a member of President Obama's cabinet, has served as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. since November, 2009. Prior to her appointment, she was a key adviser on foreign policy to Barack Obama during his campaign for the presidency, and later joined the Obama-Biden Transition as co-chair of its policy working group on national security. From 2002-2009, she was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she focused on U.S. foreign policy, transnational security threats, global poverty and development.

At the U.N., Ambassador Rice has helped the U.S. win U.N. sanctions against Iran and North Korea in order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and materials; secured support for life-saving interventions in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire. She also has helped win U.N. cooperation on the referendum for independence in Southern Sudan, and vital U.N. assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Earlier, Rice served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, special assistant to President William J. Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House, and Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping on the National Security Council staff.

Ambassador Rice earned a bachelor's degree in history from Stanford in 1986. She was a Truman Scholar and graduated junior Phi Beta Kappa. She received her M.Phil. (master’s degree) and D.Phil. (PhD) in International Relations from Oxford University, England, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

In addition, during the commencement ceremony, Ohio State will award the honorary doctor of music degree to Donald Harris, composer and dean emeritus of The Ohio State University College of the Arts, and the honorary Doctor of Social Science degree to Douglas Massey, professor of sociology at Princeton University.

The university will also present the Distinguished Service Award to two Ohio State graduates -- John W. Kessler, owner of John W. Kessler Company and chairman The New Albany Company, real estate development companies; and Keith Monda, retired president of Coach, Inc.