GW announces prominent Commencement participants

The University announced Wednesday that Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone, Washington Nationals Manager Frank Robinson and Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman will all take part in this year’s graduation events.

Redstone will join former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush on the Mall at the May 21 Commencement ceremony, while Robinson and Glickman will participate in school ceremonies.

“We are extremely, extremely excited at the great group of honorary degree recipients,” said Tracy Schario, director of Media Relations. “It certainly brings stature to commencement on the Mall.”

Redstone, chairman of media conglomerate Viacom and CBS Corporation, will receive a Doctor of Arts degree.

Robinson, the famed baseball player and the first black manager of a major league team, will speak on May 20 at noon during the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences celebration. The Nationals manager will also be awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. Robinson will be participating in the Saturday event because of Commencement’s conflicting time with the Nationals game against the Baltimore Orioles that day.

Glickman, who earned his law degree from GW in 1969 and is the only GW graduate in the group, will deliver the keynote address at the Law School graduation ceremony on May 21. He will receive a Doctor of Laws degree. Before becoming chairman of the MPAA, Glickman served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1995 until 2001, and he served 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Kansas’ fourth congressional district. The MPAA CEO has spoken at GW in the past. Glickman’s MPAA sent thousands of people accused of illegally downloading movies – including GW students – cease and desist orders in 2004.

University Marshal Jill Kasle said, “We are paying tribute to the worlds of politics, athletics, business and entertainment and letting the world know that we hold these people, and the worlds in which they live, in high esteem.”

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